A perfect match: Woman donates life-saving kidney to husband

·2 min read
Aimee Omstead, left, donated a kidney to her husband George Egglezos, right, in May.  (Submitted by Aimee Omstead - image credit)
Aimee Omstead, left, donated a kidney to her husband George Egglezos, right, in May. (Submitted by Aimee Omstead - image credit)

Despite being told by doctors that it was unlikely she'd be a compatible kidney donor for her husband, Aimee Omstead decided to check.

To the couple's surprise, Omstead was a perfect match for her husband George Egglezos, who was diagnosed with kidney disease 15 years ago.

"My wife's pretty amazing. She's had a life of giving and wanting to help people and it took a while just to finally agree to it," Egglezos said.

"It's a tough decision to let somebody do that for you and I'm really grateful that she did."

The couple underwent surgery in May and have been at home in Ruthven recovering with their four children close by.

LISTEN: The couple spoke to CBC's Windsor Morning about their experience

Three years ago, the couple found out that Egglezos would require a transplant, but another medical challenge came up before then.

In 2021, Egglezos needed to have heart surgery, which further delayed the kidney transplant.

After he recovered, the couple started the donation process to find out if Omstead was a match.

Submitted by Aimee Omstead
Submitted by Aimee Omstead

Part of this process, according to Omstead, is figuring out if their bloods would mix together to ensure that the kidney wouldn't be rejected by Egglezos's body. They soon found out that Egglezos' blood mixed with Omstead's.

"We were, in essence, a perfect match," she said.

The surgery itself, Egglezos said, brought them closer together and allowed him to have someone to go through the process with.

Omstead told CBC News that she hopes their story convinces more people to sign up for organ donation. Had she not been a match for Egglezos, she said it's likely he would have been on a five-year long wait list.

"It's been three years of health issues with their dad and with COVID hanging over us, it's been a really tough three years and we're all moving forward cautiously," Omstead said of how the family is coping.

"For the first time we're planning for a future."

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