It is said that one good turn leads to another. Two years ago, Hadassah clinical psychologist Benny Kashany altruistically donated a kidney to a total stranger. Here is his story, in his own words:
“This week I’m marking two years since a really important event—among the most significant in my life.
“After much contemplation, I had the privilege of donating a kidney to a woman I didn’t know. I realized that with one act I could save the noble life of another human being.
“I’m a psychologist at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem, and I chose to go through the donation process at the hospital that is my home. When the transplant staff found the perfect match for my kidney, I was so happy. The woman and I underwent tests with the help of Neta Malka, the great transplant coordinator, and a large team at Hadassah. Without knowing one another, both of us hoped we’d be a match.
“When Neta rang, it was like one of those calls in which they tell you that you’ve won the lottery.
“The transplant went smoothly. I met the woman to whom I’d given life only after the surgery. Her joy and that of her family filled me with emotion. Since then, I’ve become part of their family, loved in her home.
“The woman’s husband decided to continue this chain of giving by donating a kidney to someone he did not know. And guess what? That stranger’s father donated a kidney to a young girl and saved her life. This is an incredible chain with a beginning but no end.
“And that’s not the end of the story.
“Our shared surgeon was Dr. Abed Khalaileh, director of Hadassah’s Kidney Transplantation Service. He is part of a magical team, including surgeons, anesthetists, and nurses. On the day of the operation, he promised I would return to full fitness. “You’ll still win competitions,” he told me.
“Right after the operation, sports seemed like something imaginary. But as I marked almost two years since that day, Dr. Khalaileh challenged me to a swimming race. As I climbed out of the pool, proud of my crushing victory, I said to Dr. Khalaileh, ‘Wow! You were right.’
“In my heart, I wondered if he let me win, but it doesn’t really matter.
“This is somebody’s second birthday, and that reality is bigger than anything words can describe.”