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For Mother's Day, Two Families Find that a Kidney Is the Gift that Keeps On Giving

Update Date: May 13, 2013 12:59 PM EDT

Mother's Day is a time to celebrate mothers, generally with cards, flowers and chocolates. However, one son was able to give his mother a particularly special gift this year: a kidney. Doctors say that his gift may be able to extend his mother's life by up to 10 years.

The Miami Herald reports that Gloria Morrison was diagnosed with acute kidney disease and hypertension in 2001. The condition progressed; in 2010, she needed to be connected to dialysis machines while she waited for a kidney.

Her doctors said that it could take her as long as three years to receive a new kidney from the transplant list. Her family did not want to wait so long though. Husband Fitzroy, older son Nicholas and younger son Paul all received tests to determine whether they would be a match.

Fitzroy and Nicholas were not matches, but Paul was. Still, at just 18 years old, his parents feared that he was too young to make such a decision.

At nearly 21 years old, his parents and Paul finally decided that he was ready to make a choice. This month, right before Mother's Day, Paul, a graphic design student who works at UPS to help finance his education, donated his mother with his kidney.

The decision was a scary one for the whole family, but one that paid off right away. As Fitzroy described to the Herald, "It was nerve-racking," he said. "You just have to wait and wait for someone to come by and tell you how things are going. When the doctor came by a little after four o'clock and told me my wife and son were in recovery, I was really happy. He was doped up and knocked out, but she was already up and alert, like she hadn't even had surgery. You could already see the difference in her complexion and her face. It was so bright."

The doctor said that receiving an organ from a live donor tends to be more successful than receiving one from a person who has passed away. Recipients often require fewer immunosuppressants and less time to recover, and it frees up a spot on the organ transplant list.

Another Florida family received another gift of life - but from the other side. Two-year-old Evan Ranieri was born with underdeveloped kidneys, and spends much of his time connected to a dialysis machine. However, WSVN reports that his mother recently learned that she was the perfect match to give her son a kidney. His surgery will take place later this month, and his parents are thrilled that they are able to give the toddler the gift of life for the second time.

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