Selfless kidney donation ends up saving three lives

Ted Bartling Facebook

51-year-old rocket scientist Ted Bartling is what the medical community calls an “altruistic donor.” He told Yahoo Shine, “For at least 15 years, donating a kidney had been on my mind as something I could do to help somebody live a normal life like mine. They’ll only take a kidney up until you’re about 60. I can do small things for people, but sometimes we have to do the bigger things if we are capable.”

His gift of a kidney set off a chain of circumstances that wound up saving three lives and acts as a perfect example of the power of kindness that inspires others to pay it forward.

It turns out that Ted’s timing couldn’t have been better. There were three patients in need of a kidney transplant. 45-year-old Juan Romero was on a waiting list for 3 years with a rare B-blood type. 40-year-old Brandy Jess, who was also on dialysis, had a donor in her dear friend Kristy Buffington but at the late stages it was learned that they were incompatible. The last piece of the puzzle was 2-year-old Beckham Fershtut whose parents were not good matches.

Dr. Jeffrey Campsen explained how little Beckham was the beginning of this amazing chain. “He was weeks away from starting dialysis. For a 2-year-old it’s incredibly difficult and shortens his lifespan. And then we had a gentleman come forward who wanted to be what we call an altruistic donor [Bartling].”

Beckham Fershtut

Beckham’s dad, Ari Fershtut, had informed doctors that he would be willing to donate one of his kidneys if someone would come forward and do the same for his ailing son. Campsen assembled all the information and had an “aha moment” when thinking it through. It turned out that Ari was a match for Romero, Bartling was a match for Jess and Buffington was able to give her kidney to Beckham!

The surgeries began last week and were completed over a two-day period. Dr. Campsen stated that all three recipients and their respective donors are “thriving” and are headed home or will be discharged from the hospital in the next couple of days.

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