POSTED: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 1:44pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 1:46pm
MIAMI, FLORIDA- A search that began on Craigslist has led Selina Hodge to a Miami, Florida operating room.
Hodge, 28, posted a plea online in July, looking for someone, anyone, to donate a kidney.
"That's when I turned to Craigslist, because I didn't know where else to turn to," Hodge said, adding that the first few responses arrived this summer.
Hodge received more than 800 responses from around the world, one of which came from a woman who lives just miles away from her Palm Beach Gardens home.
"It just amazes me that somebody would actually lay down their life for a complete stranger," said Gina Evans, Hodge's mother.
Stephanie Grant, 23, was the person who saw Hodge's story on the news and decided to step in to help. Doctors say that is a very difficult decision to make.
"Living donors are very unique individuals," said Dr. Linda Chen of the Jackson Memorial Hospital on the University of Miami Medical Center Campus, where Hodge and Grant arrived for transplant surgery Tuesday. "They are the true heroes in society because they are completely selfless and they have nothing to gain from the procedure and it's actually a gift of love."
Before any surgery, prospective donors and recipients must take a series of psycho-social and medical tests. Hodge and Grant drove together to the Miami hospital several times to complete the evaluations. After months of waiting, the hospital gave the transplant the green light and early Tuesday, the women were prepared for surgery.
"It's never easy, and it's always difficult," said Chen.
The families of Hodge and Grant, who met for the first time just before the procedure, said a prayer together before the women were taken to the operating room for the transplant.
"I prayed that God guide the surgeon's hand in the right direction," said Evans, who was told that these surgeries are "challenging, yet successful."
"She is in good hands," said Evans. "She is a miracle child and she is a blessed child and Selina is going to be fine."
Hodge and Grant will remain in the hospital for the next several days - possibly longer - to closely monitor their recovery. So far, the families said, the women are doing fine.
If you'd like to register to be a kidney donor, click here for the national registry.