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Woman donates kidney to her housekeeper

MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2009, 1:27 P.M.

Karine Nelson has been cleaning Chris Breazeal’s home in Hayden for four years.

When Nelson needed a kidney transplant, it was her employer who volunteered one.

Nelson and Breazeal underwent the surgery last Tuesday at Sacred Heart Medical Center. Both are now recovering in their homes.

The women read an article last summer about a man who desperately needed a kidney transplant. Breazeal started thinking and praying, and decided giving one of her kidneys was something God wanted her to do.

“I prayed for like four months and then there was the phone call, just totally God working in that situation,” Breazeal said.

Nelson was on the other end of the phone call, breaking the bad news to Breazeal.

“I said, ‘Well I have some health challenges coming up,’” Nelson recalled. “I said ‘Well, I need a kidney transplant.’”

Breazeal’s first husband died of kidney disease, so she was well aware of the pain Nelson was living through. Without reservation, Breazeal went through a battery of tests.

“Everything fell into place,” Breazeal said.

Tests showed that Breazeal’s kidney was a near perfect match for Nelson.

“I just never felt like it was my choice to be pulling out,” Breazeal said. “If I matched and I was a good candidate, that’s what God wanted me to do.”

Six months after the initial conversation, the two underwent surgery.

“I am so grateful to Chris for her gift of life,” Nelson said.

“I keep telling her ‘Thank you,’ and thank you doesn’t cut it,” Nelson said. “It’s beyond thank you.”

Both women hope their story encourages others to consider living kidney donations.

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