Woman donates kidney to help co-worker

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX - A Facebook post inspired a Valley woman to make a life-saving decision. The single mother of two stepped up to help a man suffering from kidney disease.
 
Stacey Barker is a United Airlines employee who learned that one of her co-workers was in desperate need of help. She says in a split second, she made a life-changing decision.

Barker wrote a private message to her co-worker, Mona Dustan, which read, "I am willing to get tested, and I am willing to donate. I have no hesitations."

Mona Dustan replied, "OK, I'll call you tomorrow. Hopefully, you're our angel."

It turns out, that's exactly what Barker has become. Mona Dustan's husband, Ron, is suffering from kidney disease and can only receive a Type O kidney, something most people wait nearly a decade to receive.

"I thought, 'Well, you know, I have Type O and I have two kidneys,' " Barker said.

When Ron Dustan heard someone he'd never met was willing to donate a kidney, he was speechless.

"You don't know what to say. It's a little bit emotional," he said.

Mona Dustan says Barker's decision restored her husband's faith in humanity.

Barker is called a hero by her co-workers, but she doesn't look at it that way.

"I try to look at myself just as a human being that's reaching out and doing what they can to help another human being," she said.

Barker went through a series of 12 different tests, a complicated process. The surgery happens in two weeks.

Ron Dustan will no longer be on dialysis, and he will no longer worry and wait.

"For her to step up and say, 'I want to save your life,' it's pretty dramatic," he said.

Barker's recovery will be much more extensive than Ron Dustan's. She'll be out of work for two months.

A fund has been set up to help the single mother as she recovers. Click here to donate.

National Kidney Foundation living donation