Tia Wimbush and Susan Ellis have worked at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for more than a decade and were in the same department for several years.
However, everything changed when a mutual friend pointed out they had something unique in common: Wimbush’s husband, Rodney, and Ellis’ husband, Lance, were both suffering from kidney failure, CBS News reported Thursday.
The two ladies eventually confided in each other about their spouses’ kidney disease.
After working from home at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the coworkers returned to the office in September, and one special day, their schedules overlapped and they bumped into each other in the restroom.
“We were going through the transplant process. Susan and her husband, he was already on the list, she had already gone through the process of getting tested and I had just started. And she had told me in the bathroom that afternoon that she and her husband were not a match,” Wimbush said.
When they started chatting about what blood type their husbands had, they soon realized they could be potential matches for each other’s husbands.
“By the end of October, early November, I found out I was a viable donor and I matched Lance — and I matched my husband, but Susan was an even better match,” Wimbush explained.
After a few setbacks because of the coronavirus pandemic and Lance’s health, the four underwent transplant surgeries on the same day.
On March 19, Ellis’ kidney was transplanted to Rodney, and later in the day, Wimbush’s kidney was transplanted to Lance.
“I felt exhilarated. I felt exhilarated because of what we had done and because I was able to donate my kidney to Lance, and just at the magnificence of God if you will,” Wimbush said.
The entire transplant process created a strong bond between the two families.