CHICAGO - As tips go, Chicago limousine driver Abdul Faraj got a priceless one this week when one of his regular customers offered up a kidney, media reports said.
Faraj and Minnesota businessman Dave Baker underwent transplant surgeries at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
“He gave me part of his body. He saved my life,” Faraj, a diabetes sufferer whose kidneys were failing despite a three-times-a-week dialysis regime, told area television stations.
Baker has used Faraj, a native of Lebanon, as his driver on trips to Chicago for several years.
Making small talk months ago, Baker learned of Faraj’s poor health and struggle to find a kidney donor with a matching blood type.
“At that time, he tells me, ‘What’s your blood type?’ I tell him O-positive,” Faraj said. “He said, ‘I’m 0-positive. I’ll give you one.”’
Baker is out of the hospital and expected to fully recover within weeks.
“This was an opportunity to stop, slow down, take a look around and try to help someone,” Baker told local television.
If someone you casually knew needed a liver, would you give one up? My answer: A resounding "Fuck no". I'm sorry, but there are very few people in the world for whom I would be willing to carve up parts of my body. Maybe 4 or 5 off the top of my head. Even though surgery is a commonplace occurrence, it is not something that I would ever undergo voluntarily, except in an extreme circumstance. I am all too aware of how easily something can go wrong in an operating room, and a simple procedure can turn terminal.
Who's worth your liver?