Kidney Transplant Creates a Lifetime Bond
UPMC Hamot celebrated its 90th kidney transplant last week but this one has a special story. Both donor and recipient are from Linesville and live six miles apart. Today, they met face-to-face with their families there as well.
Eli Vendley donated a kidney to Mike Auen, after seeing a heartfelt post on Facebook written by Auen's daughter. Vendley said it was his honor to help the Auen family. "I wanted to one little thing for them to make sure they don't have to worry about their dad," he said. "Part of what makes us the greatest country in the world is being able to pull together as a community and help each other," he said.
Auen, who raised six children on his own, is grateful for Vendley's donation and said, "he's like a brother to me now, he will be forever, and I look forward to spending time with him outside of here."
Auen's daughter, Ashley Poulin said she is "forever grateful."
"I can't even put it into words and I don't know how to say thank you enough," she said.
Auen is expected to released from UPMC Hamot on Thursday.