Wife's decision to donate kidney to husband also saves her life

One local husband and wife are more than just a couple, they are life savers.


One local husband and wife are more than just a couple, they are life savers.

Michael and Elaine Alhand have been married for more than 40 years. Michael, a diabetic, suffered kidney failure. In 2003, he was placed on dialysis. One year later, he got a new kidney and it was from Elaine.

“Everybody couldn't wait to say to Mike, you are going to owe this woman for the rest of your life, because she is going to save your life,” remembers Elaine. “And that was the plan.”

However, that plan would soon take an unexpected turn, and Elaine’s gift would not go unpaid.

“I had known for many years that I had some sort of polyp on my gall bladder, which was not a big deal,” said Elaine.

Still, doctors decided to remove her gall bladder since they would be performing the surgery for the donation anyway. It was that seemingly mundane decision, which proved to be a life saver.

“The doctor said we analyzed or biopsied your gall bladder ... and you have cancer in your gall bladder,” said Elaine.

Michael remembers just how perfect the timing was.

“It had eaten through three of the four walls,” said Michael. “They said she hadn't had it for two months and if they wouldn't have found it then, she probably wouldn't have been with us for three months after that.”

That is how one life-saving action led to another.

“It was a miracle,” said Elaine. “I mean, I planned to save Mike's life all along but had absolutely no idea.”

Michael is quick to jokingly add in, “So I got taken off the hook!”

Meanwhile, Michael is not alone when it comes to kidney disease. One in nine U.S. adults suffer from it. Early detection is key to preventing kidney disease from becoming kidney failure.

You can learn more about the risk factors and ways to keep kidneys healthy by clicking here.




Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Google Plus
  • RSS Feeds
  • Mobile Alerts and Apps