AUBURN, Calif. — A husband and wife in Auburn can now say with certainty they are the perfect match — in more ways than one.
Lisa and Dan Summers of Auburn first met through Eharmony. “They actually reached out to me and they’re like, ‘You need to go on this date,’” Lisa told KTXL. “And I hadn’t gotten that with anybody else and they’re like, ‘Your compatibility is extremely high.'”
Little did they know how deep that compatibility went.
In his 30s, Dan found out from doctors he had a kidney issue due to a gout attack in his 20s.
“I knew about 10 years ago that there was going to be some trouble sometime in the future,” Dan explained. “And they thought it was going to be when I was in my 50s or 60s, and it ended up hitting last year.”
He went on dialysis and needed a kidney donor.
Lisa was tested and it turned out she was a match. Doctors told them the odds of that were one in 100,000.
“It’s like being next to a stranger on a train, matching them and then also falling in love on top of it, you know,” Lisa told FOX40. “There was like this sense that it was going to work.”
The kidney transplant was completed successfully at UCSF Medical Center on Aug. 22 and life is now back to normal for the Summerses.
They said they now have a new appreciation for every moment together and with their son, Jasper.
“Being able to see him in front of me just holding my son’s hand or when he lifts him or those fun moments,” Lisa said. “It’s like there’s an extra appreciation to it, that my son gets to have his father growing up, you know.”
And they have a message for anyone who might consider giving the great gift of a kidney.
“There’s a shortage of donors that are out there right now and there’s a number of people that are in kidney failure. And dialysis is not a fun thing,” Dan said. “On a live donor they can get 10 to 20, sometimes 30 years if the match is really good.”
Lisa said doctors told her that her remaining kidney is fully functioning.
“What’ll happen is the kidney realizes the other one’s not there and it actually grows in size,” Lisa explained. “And then you get all to most of your kidney function back of what you had before.”
She also explained that if a donor ever has kidney trouble in the future, they are placed near the top of the recipient list.
There are many resources online about how to become a kidney donor. Prospective donors may also inquire with their local hospital.
Lisa and Dan said they are grateful to the community of Auburn. During their recovery time, many people who heard about their story through social media were signing up to bring them food through the Meal Train crowdsourcing platform.