Kidney Donor's Good Deed Hits Bizarre Snag

Transplant on hold because too much money has been raised
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2015 2:14 PM CDT
Kidney Donor's Good Deed Hits Bizarre Snag
Josh Dall-Leighton, holding his son Christopher, hugs Christine Royles as they meet for the first time in Maine.   (AP Photo/Portland Press Herald, Susan Kimball)

An unusual kidney-donation story has taken another strange turn: A transplant involving a Good Samaritan and a woman in need of a kidney is on hold because a fundraising campaign raised too much money, reports the Portland Press Herald. People moved by the generosity of Josh Dall-Leighton have contributed more than $48,000 so far on GoFundMe to cover his unpaid time spent away from work. The initial goal was $6,000, and the Maine hospital scheduled to perform the transplant is worried that any excess money he'd get is tantamount to him selling his kidney, which is illegal.

The tale began when Christine Royles, a single mom, wrote a message on her car window seeking a donor. Dall-Leighton saw it and immediately texted her. When tests confirmed he was a match, the Maine Medical Center began preparing for the operation, and a friend of Dall-Leighton's set up the online fundraising page for him. As for making a profit, "obviously that wasn't our intention in any way," Dall-Leighton's wife tells WMTW. Royles, meanwhile, says she's "just kind of in shock" now that the operation is in limbo. The hospital says it is "working through the donor process as we do with all patients of the Maine Transplant Program." An official added yesterday that the hospital hopes "to find a way to move forward." (This woman's kidney donation triggered a chain reaction.)

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