Reporting Bill Shields
BOSTON (CBS) – Ajisa Bethiel escaped the carnage of Bosnia in 1994 and now, she has another story of survival. The Lexington resident has only one kidney and it was starting to fail.
She found a website called MatchingDonors.com and started looking for a kidney donor. That’s where Patriots quarterback Tom Brady comes in, not for his kidney, but for his star power.
Last year, Brady’s childhood coach and friend, Tom Martinez, was dying from kidney failure.
Brady did a promo for MatchingDonors.com that was seen by thousands including Peter Hughes of Sterling, Mass.
He decided to make one of his kidneys available. “My parents were inspirational to me,” says Hughes, “and instilled in my siblings and me the need to help others.”
Ajisa Bethiel saw on the website that Hughes was possibly a match for her. After weeks of tests, the procedure was done this week at Mass General Hospital.
“I feel great,” says Hughes, “she’s getting a new lease on life, and she’s got one of my kidneys.”
The two now share more than tissue, they share a new friendship. “Peter is a hero to me,” says Ajisa. “I love his family they are all so great.”
And now, they’re planning a party to celebrate one kidney and two lives.