June 24, 2019
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‘Strong recoveries’ expected in high-profile Maine kidney donation

WGME | BDN
WGME | BDN
A note on the back of Christine Royles' windshield helped her find a kidney donor.

PORTLAND, Maine — A South Portland woman who advertised for a kidney donor on her car window received a transplant Tuesday at Maine Medical Center, the hospital announced.

Joshua Dall-Leighton, a Windham corrections officer who spotted the plea in a mall parking lot, donated his kidney to Christine Royles after stepping forward in March. Both patients are expected to make “strong recoveries,” Matt Paul, MMC’s director of communications and public affairs, said in a statement.

The organ donation and a subsequent delay by the hospital attracted widespread media attention this spring. MMC hit the brakes on the procedure in April after unprecedented fundraising for Dall-Leighton raised concerns about breaking a federal law that prohibits individuals from profiting by donating an organ.

Royles organized fundraisers to cover Dall-Leighton’s family’s expenses related to the donation, and another individual started an online crowdfunding campaign that raised nearly $50,000.

MMC announced last week the surgery had been scheduled. Teams from the hospital and the Maine Transplant Program performed the procedures.

“Having overcome challenges in this unprecedented process, we are delighted in that it resulted in a young woman receiving a life-saving organ transplant and enhanced awareness of the need for living donors,” Paul said.

Royles, a 24-year-old mother with kidney failure, painted the message seeking a donor on the back windshield of her Kia Soul.

On her Facebook page Monday, she asked Dall-Leighton, 30, if he was ready for the surgery.

“I’ve been ready since the moment I saw your message on your car!” he responded. “Are you ready?”

On Tuesday morning, Royles posted a photo with Dall-Leighton, showing the two patients sitting side by side on hospital beds, dressed in matching gowns.



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