In rare case: Woman who dies from complication saves sister with her kidneys

62-year old woman saves two other women as well.

Carmit Tzedaka (L) and her sister, Aliza Gal. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Carmit Tzedaka (L) and her sister, Aliza Gal.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The kidneys of a 62-year-old woman who suffered brain death from a complication after heart surgery were donated to her sister, who has kidney failure and has been undergoing dialysis for three years to keep her alive.
Donation of organs from a brain-dead individual is extremely rare, as families who agree to donate are told they are giving them to whoever most urgently needs them.
But in this case, Israel Transplant agreed, after Carmit Tzedaka suffered brain death and her sister Aliza Gal underwent testing to determine whether the sisters were histologically compatible.
Last Friday, Aliza was asked by doctors not to go to her sister’s funeral so she could undergo urgent tests. But the doctors worried whether they would be compatible, as Aliza underwent blood transfusions in 2011 that had contained antibodies that probably would have battled against donated kidneys.
For some time, doctors were not sure whether Aliza could undergo the transplant. Finally, the Tirat Carmel woman was told to prepare for the surgery at the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva; their tissue types were, unexpectedly, found to be a “perfect match.”
Thus with Carmit’s death, she saved her sister Aliza’s life. In addition, Carmit – who had five children and eight grandchildren – saved a 56-year-old woman who received her two lungs at Beilinson and a 61-year-old woman received her liver at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.