When a Massachusetts woman heard her ex-husband's mother needed a kidney, she volunteered to donate hers. The woman and her ex had been divorced for almost a decade.
According to WHDH, when Erica Arsenault heard her ex-husband's mother was in need of a kidney when she read a Facebook post seeking donors, she wrote back to her former mother-in-law "my kidneys are yours."
“I broke down crying. I couldn’t even talk to her,” said Dorothy Wolferseder, Arsenault's former mother-in-law. Wolferseder, 72, had gone into kidney failure earlier this year.
Arsenault turned out to be a match and the surgery took place six weeks ago; both women are reportedly healing now.
Reportedly, the two women have maintained an ongoing, and cordial, relationship over the past 10 years, reported New York Daily News. Now the families are closer than ever and old wounds are healing.
“A lot of history between me and her,” said Erica Arsenault.
Arsenault and her ex, Scott Wolferseder, have two children together. Reportedly, Wolferseder was "blown away" by his ex-wife's offer.
"Without hesitation and reservation, she called into the donor clinic offering herself as a possible candidate if she met the criteria. Without apprehension, she jumped into this," he told Sentinel and Enterprise. "It was like, wow, just hard to believe. Of all the possible donors out there, here's the person who was right under our nose and within arm's reach. She was willing to do such a sacrifice."
"She didn't have to do this, but she gave my mother a new lease on life," Wolferseder said. "She sacrificed her own life to go out on this limb."
Arsenault, now remarried, said she would have done this anyway, but understands the media attention due to the family dynamics involved. She hopes that the one thing people take from story is the need for organ donations, reported Sentinel and Enterprise. She said many people list themselves as donors if they die, but that people can still donate while they are alive.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Services, almost 115,000 people are currently on a wait list for an organ. An average of 79 people receive organ transplants daily, but each day 18 people waiting for transplants die due to organ shortages.
Kidneys are most in need, the waiting list at time of publish has 92,926 individuals on the transplant list.