Woman pays back organ transplant 10 years later - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Woman pays back organ transplant 10 years later

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Bill Millard will receive a kidney transplant from Janice MacKinnon - 10 years after his son's pancreas saved her son's life. (Source: KPIX/CBS) Bill Millard will receive a kidney transplant from Janice MacKinnon - 10 years after his son's pancreas saved her son's life. (Source: KPIX/CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX/CBS) - Usually you don't want the gifts you give to be returned, especially if it's a bodily organ, but Bill Millard couldn't be happier about his regift.

Millard has kidney failure from years of diabetes and has been on dialysis for 3 1/2 years.

His friend, Janice MacKinnon, is a match and has offered one of hers as a transplant.

They met because almost 10 years ago when Millard's son, Kalem, was killed in an ATV accident His donated pancreas saved the life of Janice's son, Jake.

"It's hard for me to wrap my head around it because 10 years ago we donated my son's organs, and that is actually saving my life now," Millard said.

Most donor families stay anonymous, but the two families met and became good friends and each year light a Christmas tree to remember Kalem.

It was at last year's ceremony that Janice announced her gift.

"I think this is an extraordinary way to give back a gift that you have received," said transplant surgeon Dr. Janet Bellingham. "But I've never heard of this before."

The fact that Janice would be a match to the man who saved her son has both families thinking this was meant to be. And it's why she doesn't fear the operation.

"We are where we're at for whatever reason, and it's going to be fine because it's unbelievable that we're even here, I think," MacKinnon said.

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