Facing 7 or 8 years on the organ donor waiting list, an ailing Massachusetts mom, having exhausted all possibilities for kidney matches with blood relatives, found her miracle organ match in her grown adopted son from El Salvador.
“Our family learned that my mom and I were a perfect match — for both blood and tissue,” donor Jonathan S. Swartz told the Good News Network. “I want people out in the world to know that miracles do happen!”
It has been more than a year since the surgeries and the transplant has turned out beautifully for mom and son. But, Jonathan wasn’t always so healthy.
When his parents filed for adoption, El Salvador was in the midst of civil war. Money sent by the future parents to care for the infant in the months before his departure, was not spent on his food and health care, but instead, confiscated and used for weapons within the insurgency.
Finally in May of 1980, the malnourished and sickly five month-old baby was transferred to the loving arms of his American parents.
“My Mom was constantly taking me to doctors’ appointments for things varying from ear infections to strep throat — I even needed to be hospitalized for asthma,” said Swartz. “My mom would spend the day at the hospital with me and my dad would come to the hospital at every night, sitting in my hospital room while I slept.”
Later, Lauren Swartz contracted diabetes and her health steadily deteriorated over 25 years until her kidneys were ravaged. Although Jonathan immediately volunteered to be a donor, his parents didn’t want their son to go through the invasive procedure. But when all else failed, the two were tested for a possible match. Against all odds, these two, from differing backgrounds and bloodlines, aligned perfectly.
The ever-grateful adopted son said he likes to tell this story to everyone, “To give them hope, if nothing else.”