Saturday, September 16, 2000

Brothers give wives kidneys

First surgery proves success

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — Little brothers tend to follow the example of their big brothers and the Preissler family is no different.

        Kevin Preissler, 42, successfully gave one of his kidneys to his wife Friday at the Ohio State University Medical Center. Not to be outdone, Tim Preissler, 33, will do the same for his wife in November.

[photo] Tim and Rhonda Preissler (left) and Kevin and Sheila will be sharing four kidneys among them.
([name of photographer] photo)
| ZOOM |
        The women said they are touched by their husbands' generosity.

        “I feel very thankful. I feel blessed in a lot of ways,” said Kevin's wife, Sheila, before her transplant.

        Both Sheila, 42, and Tim's wife, Rhonda, 32, suffer chronic kidney disease.

        When neither woman could find a donor in her biological family, Kevin was tested in March and was a match for his wife of almost 23 years.

        Three months later, Tim was tested to see if he matched his wife of three years, despite her concerns that he shouldn't feel obligated to donate.

        The couples share a home in the Columbus suburb of Gahanna.

        With a successful transplant, Rhonda will be able to go off kidney dialysis, a treatment she's been undergoing three times a week for about 10 months. Sheila will avoid eventual dialysis.

        Both should be healthier and more energetic with new kidneys.

        Healthy kidneys filter waste and produce urine to carry it out of the body. They also balance chemicals in blood and produce hormones that regulate blood pressure and stimulate production of red blood cells, which provide energy.

        Malfunctioning kidneys can produce too much or too little of these hormones, leading to high blood pressure or anemia.

        Kidney donation is possible only if the donor's and recipient's blood and tissue types match. All four Preisslers have type-O blood.

        Tim said he's hoping his surgery goes as well as it did for his big brother.
        The Associated Press/DORAL CHENOWETH III Both wives needed transplants, and their husbands were suitable donors.


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