Clinical

Her brother offered a kidney, and she got one, with a twist

Deena Jones’ nephew died in a random knife attack. His death could keep the Arlington pastor alive for decades.

By Sara Bruestle

Transplant patient
Deena Jones, kidney transplant recipient.
STANWOOD — Deena Jones, a retired Arlington pastor, was supposed to receive her brother’s kidney on Oct. 13.
 
But in a strange twist of fate, the Stanwood resident received a different kidney: from her deceased nephew. Her brother’s son, 27, had been killed by a random stranger at a 7-Eleven on Labor Day, according to police.
 
The surgical team at UW Medicine told Jones they’d never seen or heard of a living kidney donor’s son becoming a deceased donor.
 
Nicolae Leca, MD
Nicolae Leca, MD
“It’s a fascinating case,” said Dr. Nicolae Leca, Jones’ kidney doctor. “I know Deena is very, very marked by this. She’s had a very successful outcome from this, but she is still emotionally conflicted by the whole process.”
 
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