Fate, Facebook, and a New Friend

How a Hahnemann Kidney Recipient Found His Perfect Match

Scott De Ment and Dwight EricksonScott De Ment had been managing his polycystic kidney disease for 15 years, but a series of unstable tests prompted doctors to suggest he be placed on the kidney transplant waiting list in September of 2010.

A year went by, and Scott still had his faith—but no donor. He attended his 30th year reunion for Central Bucks East class of ’81 in September 2011 and briefly reacquainted with classmate Dwight Erickson. Scott explained his deteriorating health, Dwight offered his prayers, and the two parted ways.

A few weeks later, another classmate who maintains a Facebook page for Scott and Dwight’s graduating class had created a public post asking Facebook users to consider helping Scott. She listed his blood type and the contact information for the kidney/pancreas transplant coordinator at Hahnemann University Hospital. Out of the potential millions of users the post could have reached, Scott’s “angel” was closer than he thought.

From his home in New Hampshire, Dwight noticed on the post that he and Scott shared the same blood type and he placed a call to Hahnemann. Thinking he could only donate blood, Dwight was surprised when it was mentioned about the possibility of a living donation.

He pursued this possibility and completed the testing necessary to see if he was a match for Scott. A few weeks after Thanksgiving, Dwight learned that he was.

Dwight discussed the option with his family and his employer—each proved very supportive of his decision—and he delivered the good news to Scott a few days before Christmas. On April 11th, 2012, the successful donation and transplant surgeries were complete.

The two will be celebrating their one year anniversary since the operations this month and Dwight asserts his life “hasn’t changed one bit.”

“I never knew how easy donation could be!” he says. Scott on the other hand, says his life has been changed for the better thanks to his new kidney and his new friend.

While Scott is adamant that Dwight is his angel and a hero, Dwight is uncomfortable with the aggrandizing terms. However, each of them can agree on two things: They are thankful for the advocacy of their respective coordinating teams at Hahnemann that helped them through the process, and they are eager to educate others about living donation.