OAK LAWN, Ill. -- A mother who desperately needed a new kidney now has one, but it came from her son who died suddenly.
Last summer, Rose Perry of Oak Forest learned she was in Stage 4 kidney failure.
Her 24-year-old son Ronald was always there for her until a week and a half ago when he died unexpectedly from a massive stroke.
Rose, in kidney failure and on dialysis was in desperate need of a transplant. Her son was a perfect match.
“I wanted my son. I didn't want his kidney, I wanted him,” Rose said. “Then when it sank in and I realized there was nothing I could do to keep with me anymore, I decided with my husband and son that I would take the kidney and always have a part of Ronald with me.
Doctors at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn performed the transplant on May 17th.
Just four days later, Rose was able to go to her son's wake.
Doctors say there are about 100,000 people nationwide waiting for a kidney transplant. Because Rose has diabetes, doctors say she may not have survived on dialysis if she had to wait on that registry list.
For Rose, there is grief but also a sense of comfort she will carry with her always.
“It feels like he's there,” she said. “I feel like I can go down and touch my stomach and can still feel him.”
Ronald not only saved his mother, but two other patients with his second kidney and his liver.