7 Years After Saving Man, She Saves His Daughter

It's 'just what we should do,' paramedic Kristi Hadfield says of kidney donation
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2023 12:50 PM CDT
7 Years After Saving Man, She Saves His Daughter
Molly Jones and Kristi Hadfield are now connected in more ways than one.   (Getty Images/gorodenkoff)

A week before she was gifted a life-saving kidney, Molly Jones finally met the woman who'd saved her father's life—and was now about to save her own. In 2016, paramedic Kristi Hadfield had been accompanying a military veteran who was feeling unwell to a hospital when his heart suddenly stopped. Frantically, Hadfield performed chest compressions, ultimately succeeding in restarting John Cunningham's heart. Curious about how his recovery was going, she later sought him out on Facebook. As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, she also connected with his daughter on the social media site. Six years later, they still hadn't met face to face. Yet when Jones announced she was experiencing kidney failure, it was Hadfield who again came to the rescue.

Jones, who'd been living with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease for all of her 41 years, pleaded with friends for a kidney donation in March 2022, noting dialysis would only buy her limited time. Hadfield responded within hours. "How do I find out if I am a match?" she asked. As the Guardian reports, Hadfield hadn't asked for her family's permission first. "I wanted [Jones] to be able to see her daughter grow. I wanted her to be able to hold her grandkids," the 56-year-old tells the Post-Gazette.

Though Jones and Hadfield discovered they shared the same blood type, it took months of tests before Hadfield was cleared for surgery. "There were so many days when I was so weak and so sick and she'd send me these messages to help keep me going," Jones, now 42, tells the Post-Gazette. She finally met her savior in December, a week before the transplant was carried out. "Because of her, I will get to see my daughter graduate from high school. I got to see my 42nd birthday," says Jones, who regained kidney function. "It's like she's our guardian angel." But Hadfield doesn't see anything heroic in what she did. It's "just what we should do," she tells the Guardian. (More uplifting news stories.)

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