EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Pasoan Elizabeth Moreno could be seen with tears streaming down her face while talking about the man donating his kidney to her.
“Just saying thank you it doesn’t seem like enough, he’s actually giving me my life back,” said Moreno.
Elizabeth Moreno, 52, has kidney and renal failure and has been doing dialysis for three years. She has seven brothers and sisters but all of them have diabetes and are unable to donate to her.
One of her biggest fears was not being able to live long enough to meet her grandchildren.
“I was thinking the worst. I was, I thought, you know, well I don’t know how long I have,” said Moreno.
KTSM 9 News spoke with Moreno back in December about her search for a living donor and that story reached El Pasoan John Sosa.
After hearing about Moreno’s circumstances, Sosa felt compelled to do what he could.
“My mom actually comes from seven siblings as well, and I just thought, ‘You know what? How would I feel if something like that happened to my mom and no one could help?” he said.
Sosa had never met Moreno and believed her to be a stranger when he told his fiance his plans of seeing if he was a match to donate his kidney to her. However, it turns out that Moreno used to work with Sosa’s fiance.
“I was telling her how I wanted to do something and how I kind of felt it in my heart and my soul. And she told me, coincidentally, that it was actually her ex-coworker that she used to work with and, unfortunately, she had to stop working due to the circumstances she was under,” said Sosa.
Sosa found out he was a match and met Moreno in person to share the news.
“To actually save her or give her back to her family — to be able to meet her grandchild, potentially future grandchild to be there for her godson — it’s just overwhelming. I can’t explain, I’m just anxious to get into surgery,” said Sosa.
Sosa will have to take six weeks off of work to recover but says it’s worth it to save a life.
The surgery will take place in May at the University Health Transplant Center in San Antonio and the living donor surgery will be done by Dr. Elizabeth Thomas, surgical director for the living donor program at UT Health San Antonio.
“All of our living donors are so unique and generous and selfless, but in my opinion, it’s a whole other level when someone is inspired to give in this way to someone they never even met,” said Thomas.
Thomas explained that there are more than 91,000 people waiting for a kidney and nearly 9,000 of those people are Texans. She said that Sosa is not only saving one life, but two.
“Every time a recipient receives a living kidney donor, it takes them out of that deceased donor line and it frees up a kidney. It frees up a deceased donor’s kidney to go to someone who may never get a living donor,” said Thomas.