On the anniversary of Sept. 11, we offer a pancultural exchange with a happy ending.
Back in November, UP FRONT reported about Patricia Abdullah, a Caucasian woman of Muslim faith who, after leading an unsuccessful search for a type O-positive kidney donor for acquaintance Mike Jones, an African American Christian, ultimately donated her own kidney. The Sept. 25 procedure was performed by Jewish and German surgeons at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a hospital founded by Jews.
Nearly a year after their surgeries, Abdullah and Jones are leading happy, healthy lives and stay very connected.
"She's truly a blessing," Jones, 42, said. "She's one of God's angels. She gave me the ultimate gift that a person can receive."
"It's been amazing," Abdullah, 54, said. "Mike and I seem to share an uncanny knowing of how one another is doing. The doctors told me, the only way we could've been a closer match [is] if we had been born together from a single cell."
Following their surgeries, Jones and Abdullah participated in a triathlon to raise awareness and money for the Dina LaVigna Breath of Life Fund. They are now training together for the L.A. Marathon.
Jones is currently working on a book, "One Miracle," and spreading awareness about kidney disease on cable TV ("The Wright Place") and online (wrightplacetv.com).
He shares what he has learned.
"If you believe in your God, everything is possible," Jones said.
So why bring all this up again now? Due to conflicting schedules of the two transplant teams, the surgery was rescheduled to Sept. 25. The original date of surgery? Sept. 11, 2001.