Rita Van Loenen had no idea that a trip in Thomas Chappell’s taxi could end up being the ride that saves her life.
“There are better odds of getting struck by lightning,’’ Van Loenen said. “A random taxi driver offering to give me his kidney and all these pieces match. There has to be something behind this. How can this be?’’
Chappell, who has been driving Van Loenen to dialysis appointments, shocked the Gilbert, Ariz., woman a month ago by offering to donate his kidney. But even more shocking to her was that doctors found they had the same blood type, that they were compatible.
The gesture evoked tears of gratitude from Loenen, but she was still skeptical.
“A little bit in my heart I didn’t believe it. He said, ‘Give me the number,’ and I have the transplant number at Mayo [Clinic in Scottsdale] memorized.’’
Boston Globe by Terry Tang, 08/24/2009