A month ago, Dan Coyne knew just two things about a cheerful cashier who worked at Jewel-Osco in Evanston: her first name and her need for a new kidney.
On Friday, however, their lives became inextricably linked after Coyne donated one of his healthy kidneys to Myra de la Vega, of Evanston, a Filipino immigrant and single mother of two teenagers.
The daylong organ transplantation took place at Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Kovlar Organ Transplantation Center, which performs about 170 living-donor transplants a year and is one of the busiest programs in the country.
"I really didn't know Myra until after the match," said Coyne, 52, referring to the moment when he learned his blood and tissues were compatible with hers. Since then, his decision to give a diminutive stranger his kidney has profoundly changed both their lives and affected friends, relatives and those who heard about their story.
A nice news story for a change.