Dawn Inman's kidney first failed when she 15. Her 2nd kidney failure was 15 years later, and it put her on dialysis, which led to numerous complications.
“It got to the point where I told my mom I was only going to make it until my daughter graduated. I was going to discontinue and go ahead and pass away because it started to hurt so bad,” she said, “so when I got the phone call telling me that they found a kidney. It brought a new sense of life just knowing that I had that option again.”
But the call that let her know she was getting a kidney wasn’t what she was expecting, “Leann called me and said no we have this chain going and that I was going to be blessed by being part of the chain.”
It all started with Tyler Weig, who stepped up and said I want to help someone by donating a kidney. Weig had no reason to donate his kidney, other than he just wanted to make a difference in someone’s life. And it turned out the life he changed was Lance Beyer's. Lance's wife, unable to donate to her husband, was so moved by this act of kindness from a stranger, she decided to pay it forward. Jay Lindahl was compatible with her. Mike Dodge had heard of Jay's need, and wanted to help, but wasn't a match. But when he heard about the chain of donors, he decided to donate to a stranger as well. That stranger ended up being Nick Titus. Nick's aunt then donated, to Nerissa March, whose husband Peter donated his kidney to Dawn Inman.
All ten surgeries were performed at Mercy Hospital between Monday and Wednesday, January 7th, 8th, and 9th. All the procedures went well, surgeons say what the 5 donors did was no small feat.
“This isn`t like blood donation, or someone is just donating a piece of skin or that sort. This is a major procedure,” said Dr. Cass Franklin, the director of the transplant program at Mercy Medical Center.
The donors said it was more than worth the risks.
“Just knowing that going through some pain is able to stop that. I'm happy to do it. I wouldn't even think twice about it and I'm happy to do that for you,” donor Mike Dodge said to the recipient of his kidney, Nick Titus. The two met Friday, when the entire chain connected for the first time at Mercy Hospital.
“It was a blessing all in itself just to have somebody to step up and say hey I can do this. I want to do this,” said Inman.