SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – A California woman is recovering after donating the gift of life to an ailing man who posted a Craigslist ad seeking a life-saving kidney.
"I'm feeling really well, without pain meds. I'm surprised how good I'm doing," Jessica Morris told KPIX 5.
Morris felt good enough to visit Alcatraz with her father on Father's Day, five days after donating her kidney to a man she didn't know.
"He'll probably be my friend for life. He has a piece of me for life, so he has no choice," Morris said.
The man, David Nicherie of Las Vegas, has family in the Bay Area. An autoimmune disease put him on daily dialysis.
Nicherie was several years down on the kidney donation list. He said he was very close to moving to hospice when Morris answered an ad he placed on Craigslist.
"An angel, because only an angel could come down and decide, 'I'm going to save your life,'" Nicherie said.
They talked, met in person and found they have a lot in common. She is a medical technician from Newport Beach. He was born in the same hospital as her in Orange County. They're both 30.
Doctors found she was a perfect match. He couldn't believe this was happening.
"She gave me purpose to live, she gave me hope," Nicherie told KPIX 5. "Even if it turned out she had been not healthy enough or couldn't donate, or just something, she gave me something I didn't have."
There is a risk for infection. What if she needs her other kidney someday? Questions like that didn't seem to faze Morris one bit.
"No one is looking at the other side, this person is dying. So, why risk something that's a hypothetical idea for something that is true?" Morris said. "Really in David's case, if I didn't intervene he may have died."
Last Tuesday, at UCSF's Parnassus campus, both of them were wheeled in for surgery. The transplant was successful. His prognosis is very good.
"She's always been like this, I've always called her 'Jessie Nightingale,'" said Dan Morris, Jessica's father. "I was, until three weeks ago, totally in the dark about this. She has all my support."
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