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Archive for Wednesday, October 20, 2004

KU alumnus travels to Israel to give kidney to 10-year-old boy

October 20, 2004

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— Eric Swim was surfing on the Internet in June when he stumbled across the story of a 10-year-old Jewish boy from Israel who was in desperate need of a kidney transplant.

"I began thinking that I have two good kidneys," the Marysville man said, "and I didn't have to have one of them."

Swim, 38, returned Sunday from Israel with one less kidney and the thanks of the many Israelis he met.

"It's a humbling thing when a Holocaust survivor comes up to you and says 'you're a big hero,' or 'gibor' in Hebrew," Swim said Monday during an interview at his home, "when in reality all I did was donate a kidney. It's very humbling."

The organ recipient, Moshiko Sharon, who had waited for a compatible kidney donor for more than a year, is doing well after undergoing implant surgery Sept. 21 at a Tel Avis-area hospital.

But before the surgery could take place, Swim had to undergo tests to determine whether he would be a good match. Swim learned the results of the tests Sept. 3 and left three days later for Tel Avis.

Swim was joined by his wife, Lori, 34, and the couple's two children, Lucy, 10, and Josiah, 6.

Swim, who earned a law degree from Kansas University in 1993, works at the 45-bed Marshall County hospital in Marysville.

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