Newswise — This Sunday will be the best Mother's Day ever for Aicha Djitte, 46, and her mother, Ndeye Ndiaye-Epmbaye, 64, of Hackensack, New Jersey, thanks to a life-saving kidney transplant received at Hackensack University Medical Center. 

After suffering from kidney failure, Ndeye was put on emergency dialysys and placed on the list for a kidney donation. Unfortunately, her daughter, Ndeye, was not a match and with the pandemic decreasing organ donations to their lowest numbers in decades, the mother daughter duo were losing hope. That is until they were told about another option. 

"It was suggested that we do a kidney swap," explained Aicha. Sometimes a loved one may want to donate a kidney but their blood type is incompatible. Some transplant centers, like Hackensack University Medical Center, will help incompatible pairs of recipient/donors through a process called paired exchange.

If the recipient from one pair is compatible with the donor from the other pair, and vice versa– the transplant center may arrange for a "swap"–for two simultaneous transplants to take place. This allows two transplant candidates to receive organs and two donors to give organs though the original recipient/donor pairs were unable to do so with each other.

"I jumped at the chance to not only help my mother but help someone else in the process," said Aicha. 

Ndeye's new kidney came from Massachusettes and the kidney Aicha donated went to a woman in Minnesota. "She was so grateful to have a new lease on life after having been on dialysis for five long years, she sent me a beatiful thank you note," said Aicha. 

Both Ndeye and Aicha recovered at home together and are so thankful to the transplant team at Hackensack University Medical Center for suggetesting this option. "My mom would likely still be on the list, waiting for a kidney and instead we will be celebrating a happy, healthy Mother's Day together."

For more information about the living donor program at Hackensack University Medical Center or to book an interview, email [email protected]