Mom saves pediatrician's life with kidney transplant

July 17, 2013 10:00:00 PM PDT
Most people have to know someone pretty well to be willing to donate one of their kidneys to them. But we have the story of a young Sugar Land mother who donated a kidney to her children's pediatrician. And in our exclusive story, she explains why she did it.

Jennifer Stovall's three sons always liked their pediatrician. But last year, Dr. Mike Bishop contracted a rare kidney disease and needed a kidney transplant. The whole family was shocked when Jennifer Stovall volunteered to donate her kidney to the boy's doctor.

"There was just something inside of me and I knew that this as something I needed to do," she said.

"I was worried but I realized it was going to a man who deserved it. She was saving his life, and after several talks, we realized that she should do it," Jennifer's husband, Mike Stovall, said.

Bishop was taken aback by Jennifer's offer.

"Thank you isn't enough. Thank you 1000 times isn't enough," Bishop said. "This is the most incredibly generous gift you can give because there's nothing in it for her. I mean nothing."

Even Jennifer's transplant surgeon was surprised.

"It's rewarding to know this physician had such an impact on this family that they were willing to do such a great thing," said Dr. Mayer, a transplant surgeon and Houston Methodist Hospital.

"I'm doing it because I think it's the right thing to do," Jennifer said.

Jennifer's surgery started first and lasted about two and half hours. Her kidney was removed in a single, two-inch incision.

Then Jennifer's kidney was washed, put in a metal bowl of ice and walked next door to the operating room, where Bishop's team was waiting.

The surgery went well for both donor and recipient. And both will go back to work.

And when a Stovall boys needs to see his doctor, he'll get VIP treatment.

"She gets whatever time she wants. And I said, 'Yeah and you'll have to ask her if she wants a croissant with her coffee too,'" Bishop said jokingly.

Her doctor says Jennifer can go home from the hospital Friday. Dr. Bishop is expected to go home this weekend. Both are doing very well.

Find Christi on Facebook at ABC13-Christi Myers or on Twitter at @ChristiMyers13


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