A crisis situation often reveals who one's true friends are. University of Mississippi colleagues Charlotte Pegues and Leslie Banahan discovered the depths of their friendship recently when a health crisis for the former brought the latter to her rescue.
Three years ago, Pegues' kidneys began to fail, eventually placing her in dire need of a transplant. Soon after hearing the news, Banahan volunteered to donate one of her own kidneys. Physicians determined the two were a match and the successful operation was performed June 9 at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
“I feel like Leslie is my sister,” said Pegues, assistant provost for academic affairs and registrar. “I want to repay her in some way, but she said this was a gift. It's a God thing!”
Banahan, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, said she is grateful and honored that she was able to be there for her friend.
“I wouldn't have done this for just anyone, but Charlotte is an amazing woman, someone I wanted to help so she could live a full, long, happy life with her husband, family and friends,” Banahan said. “We have a special connection now - sisters, really - as we have shared this journey together.”
Because becoming a living organ donor is a life-changing decision, Banahan said it was not a choice that she made quickly or without a great deal of research, prayer and consideration.