by Mary Baer
A St. Johns County man who served in the Marine Corps, then gave of himself as a kidney donor, is now on a mission to get others to help someone who needs a hand. While Nicholas Flores’ organ donation helped save another's life, he believes it had a profound impact on his life as well. The journey started when Flores saw a card on the wall of a St. Augustine restaurant. The card read, “A Kidney For Allison,” and included a phone number. The card was aimed at finding a donor to help 65-year-old Alison Ecklund. Flores called the number and answered a life-saving need...Extensive testing suggested that Flores was a perfect match for Ecklund. At the last minute, though, there was something that made the two incompatible for a kidney donation. Then, Flores learned about a Mayo Clinic program called paired donation. He was placed into the program, completing a chain of donations involving patients at all of Mayo Clinic’s locations across the country -- in Jacksonville, Minnesota and Arizona. Ecklund got her new kidney, and a new chance at life, from someone in Arizona. Flores’ donated kidney helped a man in Minnesota. “Nick did fabulous as a donor,” said Christine Schneider, Mayo Clinic’s living donor coordinator. She called Flores a shining example, as he helped save multiple lives through the clinic's program.
Context: Mayo Clinic Transplant Center is the largest integrated transplant provider in the United States. Mayo Clinic's campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota include more than 150 surgeons and physicians and hundreds of allied health staff who are trained in caring for transplant patients. Mayo Clinic surgeons perform more than 600 kidney transplantsa year, including for people with very challenging kidney conditions who need special solutions and surgeries. And Mayo Clinic kidney transplant teams in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota are leaders in living-donor kidney transplants. People who receive a kidney from a living donor usually have fewer complications than those who receive a kidney from a deceased donor.
Contact: Tia Ford