PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It started as a desperate plea by two kids in Monongahela to get their mother a kidney.
The Facebook video message was shared tens of thousands of times, and on Tuesday, Bailey and Tobias’ mom got that kidney in an operation at Allegheny General Hospital.
Diana Zippay has a condition called Alport syndrome.
“My daughter immediately said, ‘We have to make this video. We have to make this video, mom. We need it, you have to get a kidney.’ And I said, ‘Okay, let’s see what we come up with,’” said Diana.
The video went viral, and months later the message is “thank you.” That’s because a donor has been found.
Surrounded by family, Diana awaited the surgery on Tuesday, thanks to a paired exchange by the National Kidney Foundation.
The unknown altruistic donor in Philadelphia matches Diana’s Type A blood. But the chain began when a Type B donor from Baldwin agreed to donate her kidney to someone else.
Tobias was with his mom when she got the news.
“Tobias misinterpreted her tears as something wrong, but then when he found out, he said, ‘Then why are you crying?’” said Jason Zippay, Diana’s husband.
When Bailey found out, Diana said, “She was just jumping up and down and excited. We were all laughing and crying. It was just a great moment, a great family moment.”
Dr. Sabiha Hussain says living donors are preferable.
“On an average, a living kidney transplantation lasts about 16 to 20 years, compared to about eight to 10 years, depending on the quality of the deceased donor kidney transplantation,” said Dr. Hussain.
Diana had the surgery Tuesday afternoon, and Allegheny County Health Network officials said it was a success. They say her new kidney is working.
At last report, after 9 p.m., she was in the recovery room and her new kidney was working.