Social media connection saves a Neosho life - KOAM TV 7

Social media connection saves a Neosho life


A Neosho, Missouri woman is donating a kidney to another young mother, who's a Facebook friend. They barely knew each other before, but now Vanessa Copeland is undergoing surgery to save a life.

“Brandy and I are friends but we don't hang out every day, I had no idea she had kidney issues, knew nothing about it and she put her story on there that if anyone was O positive she wouldn't say no to a kidney," says Copeland, the kidney donor.

Brandy Kissel wasn’t expecting the outpouring of support she received on Facebook, especially from anyone other than close friends or family.

"That in itself makes it so much more humbling and makes me so much more grateful because she doesn't have to do what she’s doing and it’s really appreciated," says Kissel who was diagnosed with kidney disease when she was pregnant with her oldest son. Doctors don't know what caused the illness but she felt healthy up until November, when she was added to the national transplant list. Doctors encouraged her to use social media as an outlet to find a living donor.

Copeland was the first to respond on social media, and after extensive testing found out she was a perfect match, which isn’t always easy.

“It all depends upon the chance, if you have the same blood group you have more chance of being a good match," says Dr. Talal Khan of Freeman Hospital.

For the donor, the procedure can be done laparoscopically and recovery time is two to six weeks.

"I always feel like if you can help you should, she’s a mother of two terrific little boys and I’m a mother and you know boys need their moms and it’s one of those situations where I never had any time when I didn't want to help."

Kissel’s more than thankful for the chance to be around longer for her kids.

“Obviously, thank you so much. Like I said it’s just amazing that there are still people in this world that are willing to do good and give without anything in return and it just really means a lot," continues Kissel.

The two will undergo surgery in St. Louis in a few weeks.

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