A kidney patient's wife donated a kidney to a stranger, and in return, the son of that stranger, donated a kidney to her husband. Haifa residents Muhammad Akrat, 32, and David Ben-Yair, 57, were hospitalized in the same room at Rambam Health Care Campus. Until a week ago, they did not know each other. Today, their relationship will never be broken.

In the world of medicine their relationship is a called a "crossover transplantation. "Crossover transplantation is performed when no family member with a matching blood and tissue type can be found for the patient. In such cases, cooperation between hospitals in Israel helps to match the best possible kidney donor with the recipient.

On May 28, 2013, donors Rasha Akrat (Muhammad's wife) and Shmuel Ben Yair (David Ben-Yair's son) were simultaneously wheeled into adjacent operating rooms at Rambam, to remove their kidneys. After almost three hours, their operations were completed. Muhammad Akrat and David Ben Yair were then wheeled into two other surgical suites. Three and a half hours later, both men had undergone successful kidney transplantations.

Two days later the donors and recipients met for the first time since giving each other the gift of life. "We talked about everything—children, family, life," said David. "Muhammad is a lovely person and I'm glad to know him. Fate brought us together, connected our bodies and minds."

Mohammad also praised David: "David is a great man. We enjoy and care about each other. We are an integral part of one another now—really family!"


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