[ Miracles ]

Two of a Kind

I'm originally from El Salvador. At the age of five months, on May 8, 1980, I was adopted by two loving parents from the United States.

During the five months that I was in El Salvador, the country was going through a Civil War. Since the orphanage where I lived didn't have the necessities to take proper care of its infants, my parents were sending money to them so I could get that care.

Unfortunately, the money was being spent toward weapons for underground criminals. When my parents arrived to take me to my new home, I was very malnourished. I was very sick with various illnesses throughout my childhood because of this. My Mom was often taking me to doctors' appointments for things ranging from ear infections to strep throat. I even needed to be hospitalized for asthma. Not much was known about asthma back then, so many doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. My Mom would spend the day at the hospital with me and my Dad would come to the hospital at night. They would sit in my hospital room while I slept.

In 1985, my mom found out that she was suffering from diabetes and needed to be on insulin. Twenty-four years later, she found out that her kidneys were failing due to the ravages of this disease. She needed a kidney transplant.

Immediately, I told my Dad that I would be willing to donate my kidney to her. My parents, being the loving parents that they are, didn't want me to go through a procedure like that. And considering that we are not blood relatives nor even from the same country, the odds seemed tremendous against a tissue and organ match. Blood relatives offered, but due to their own medical complications, they were unable to go through with a donation.

Meanwhile, mom’s health continued to decline. I kept pursuing my goal to be tested as an organ and tissue donor for her. From July through September of 2009, my Mom and I went through many tests to see if this would be the case. I prayed to G-d that I would be a match.

In October of 2009, we as a family learned that my mom and I were a perfect tissue and organ match! On Monday, October 12, 2009, we had the surgery. It was a complete success and there were no complications! It is now over a year later, and my mom’s new kidney is working very well.

I like to tell everyone this story not because I want to sound like a hero, but because I want people out in the world to know that miracles do happen! I believe G-d did all the work; I just volunteered.

Around the time that the surgery was about to happen, my Dad emailed our local news station (without my Mom's or my own knowledge at first). The station interviewed us on the miracle of the match and another one followed with a story after the surgery.

I hope everyone enjoys reading about this miracle, just as much as I enjoyed doing this for my Mom!

Jonathan S.

Peabody, MA