CLEVELAND (WJW)--It was simply meant to be. For the first time, donor Erika Hosey and Denise Butvin looked at a photo of the kidney that has created a bond to last a lifetime.
The two women met this past spring during a cardiovascular appointment at University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center.
"We meet pre-op patients all the time, um, and this happen to be just a little different," Hosey said.
"So, I went to Ahuja to get a stress test and Erika was the nurse, I'll call her a nurse, monitoring my stress test,” Butvin said.
The results of that stress test were crucial since the 59-year-old wife, mother and grandmother’s health had taken a turn for the worse.
“It's hereditary in my family. My sister and my father both had passed away from kidney disease, and they were on dialysis," Butvin said
Witnessing first-hand how dialysis negatively affected their quality of life, she said she wanted to be proactive, as tests showed her kidneys were beginning to fail.
"So, about five years ago, I actually started my quest on looking for a donor."
It was during that stress test visit in April that Hosey learned Butvin was on the transplant waiting list.
"And it just kind of caught my eye and I strike up conversation and I said, 'Oh, do you have a donor?' And she said, 'No' and I replied with, 'Well, I have one to give,'" Hosey said.
"I walk out to my car and I'm like, this just didn't happen, it couldn't happen this is not real,” Butvin said.
But it was very real and in June, Hosey found out she was the perfect match. Just one week ago, the 36-year-old wife and mother of two donated a healthy kidney to Butvin. The surgery was a success.
"I met an angel and her family who have given me a new family," Butvin said.
"I get placed in people's lives and they get placed in mine for a reason," Hosey said.
Hosey comes from of a family of donor participants. Not only did her husband donate bone marrow to his father, her mother received a cornea transplant.