These days, online dating can lead to a lot of things: New friendships, relationships, lasting love, and even marriages and new families. But in this case, it led to a life-saving--and nearly unbelievable--lucky break for a woman in need.
This past summer, Jennifer Thomas and Rich O'Dea met on the dating app Tinder and both "swiped right" (or conveyed their mutual interest), then met for a date in Tampa, FL. On the date, O'Dea happened to mention his good friend, Erika Bragan, a married mother of two who had been stuck on a kidney transplant list for almost three years because of her extremely rare O-negative blood type.
Thank you to the Washington Post!Posted by Rich O'Dea on Saturday, November 21, 2015
Thank you to the Washington Post!
"I felt for Erika," Thomas told People. "I'm a mom and she's a mom, and I just couldn't imagine being in her shoes and her children losing their mother. I knew I had to find a way to help her."
She underwent testing to see if she could be a donor match for Bragan--and after three months, doctors told her she was. And although she and O'Dea had decided not to pursue a romantic relationship, Thomas took a stunning step this past November, when she underwent a kidney transplant to help her one-time date's good friend.
"I didn’t realize she was completely serious about being a kidney donor. We were on a Tinder date, after all! But that just speaks to her character – she is so passionate and caring and driven," O'Dea said.
Learn more about this incredible story here.
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