Doctors have called off a kidney transplant scheduled after a misplaced Craigslist ad brought together a New Jersey woman in need of the transplant and a donor whose wife died from kidney failure.
Glenn Calderbank's wife died in 2011, after receiving a kidney and pancreas from a cadaver. Her body rejected the organs, and he said she died while on dialysis.
He said he came across the ad seeking a kidney donor while scanning a section of the website for construction supplies. He responded to the ad and was preparing for surgery on Tuesday, but the operation was canceled after doctors with Philadelphia's Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania found cirrhosis of Calderbank's liver — a chronic disease.
The hospital said in a statement that unforeseen medical issues prevented the kidney transplant. Both patients are in good condition.
Calderbank, of West Berlin, New Jersey, has said he was an alcoholic, now four years sober. He also smokes. It is unknown what caused the cirrhosis, but doctors decided the liver disease diagnosis meant he could not give his kidney to Nina Saria, of Egg Harbor City.
The ad came from Saria's husband, Kay. Saria suffers from kidney failure because of an autoimmune disease, and she has been on a donor list for more than a year. Offers from friends and relatives haven't panned out.
"I was lost," Saria told the Courier-Post. "I didn't know what to do. When they told me about my disease I thought it was the toughest day, but this is even worse."
Saria said they do not blame anyone for the complication. They want people to know what happened.
"Glenn is still a hero," Saria said on Wednesday. "He did everything possible. He went into surgery and under the knife for me."