How Can a Multiple-Person Kidney Swap Be Achieved?

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This is one for the history box. A mind blowing medical feed. Unthinkable just a few years ago, that saved eight lives. The worlds largest kidney swap. Abdominal chain and eight transplant that involves sixteen operations, ten surgeons, fours hospitals across four states in a staggering three weeks.

It all started with one good Samaritan. What doctors call an altruistic donor. He got the ball rolling by deciding to donate a kidney to a complete stranger. His doctors made it the gift that kept on giving. By pairing his kidney to a patient who had a relative who made the same selfless promise to donate one of their kidneys to a complete stranger as well.

The next recipient's loved ones made the same sacrifice and the transplant chain kept growing until eight donors gave kidneys to eight recipients, all of them complete strangers to each other. Donors recipients, and doctors all walk the logistical tight rope to pull it off. Every surgery took place in the patients home town hospital.

That meant once a donor kidney was removed, doctors had just 36 hours to get out on a plane and fly to the next recipient and then start the process all over again with the next giving. Miraculously no one missed that beat, and eight kidney patients now have the gift of life.