SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Twelve patients are preparing to participate in a rare, two day, six-way paired kidney donation transplant at San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center.

The six couples involved will travel to the Bay Area from as far as Arizona.

A paired kidney donation is when a living kidney donor is incompatible with the recipient, and so then exchange with another donor/recipient pair.

“This is a different type in which an altruistic donor starts a domino type of transplant. Her kidney goes to the first recipient, another gives a kidney to the next, on down the line,” Transplant Surgeon William Bry, MD told KPIX 5.

Zully Broussard lost her son to cancer thirteen years ago, but will have helped save six lives by the end of the week.

“I didn’t realize it was going to be such a big thing.  I only have one kidney, how can I help all these people?” Broussard said.

To donate a kidney requires not just the donation of a body part, but a huge donation of money and time, as donors need to take (often unpaid) time off work for recovery, trips to and from doctors’ visits, and many other unexpected costs. Broussard is getting help from the American Living Organ Donor Fund.

HELP LIVING DONORS WITH THE EXPENSE OF DONATING: http://www.helplivingdonorssavelives.org/

This will be the largest single center kidney paired donation chain conducted on the West Coast, and the largest conducted in the 44-year history of the CPMC Transplant Center.

The procedures will involve a team of five surgeons, anesthesiologists, physicians assistants, nurses, and dozens of support staff.

“In fact one of the obstacles we had to overcome is having enough sets of surgical instruments to do them all at the same time,” Bry said.

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