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'Good Samaritan' Gives New Life to Young Kidney Patient

Sep 4, 2007 6:00 PM

After reading a newspaper article about a man who donated a kidney to someone he had never met, Aaron Coltrin, 28, knew it was something he wanted to do.

Known as Good Samaritan or anonymous donations, the number of these types of donations is increasing every year as more people learn about how the program works. According to Intermountain Donor Services, there have been 29 such donations made in Utah since 2003--many of them coordinated and performed by University Health Care's Transplant Program.

The recipient of Coltrin's kidney was 2-year-old Brick Robinson, who was born with only one partially functioning kidney. Robinson had been on the waiting list since January. Because of his age, he had gone to the top of the waiting list and by May had matched with Coltrin.

A few days before the surgery at University Hospital, the two families agreed to meet inside the transplant clinic. "I came into the room expecting to meet an adult, and there was Brick with his mom and dad. I knew at that moment I had made the right decision," said Coltrin, who is also a father.

Today, Brick's mom says the little boy is doing great. "His color is better, he feels better, and he's finally learning to walk. He's a new kid and we can't thank Aaron and his family enough," she said.

Coltrin admits that some friends and family questioned why he would want to give one of his kidneys to a complete stranger. "It's a very personal decision. But in my case, I'm glad I did it," he said."

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