The gift of life--a lung

On Tuesday, November 16, 1999, A british man arrived in the Children's Hospital in St Louis to undergo surgery to remove a lobe of his lung.

This man did not suffer from a medical condition that requires the removal of the lung lobe. Instead, he has volunteered to give the gift of life to a little girl he had never met before.

When Lisa Ostrovsky, a 10-year old Israeli girl suffering from cystic fibrosis, was told that without a transplant she has just months to live, her mother volunteered to give one lobe of her lung for the transplant. One more lobe coming from a donor having the same blood group was needed to complete the procedure for Lisa to have a 50-50 chance of survival for another five years.

A global e-mail campaign on the internet was set up by Lisa's father, Dr Ilia Ostrovsky, to raise awareness of his daughter's plight as well as almost £500,000 to pay for the operation.

In Northhampton, U.K., a 48 year-old janitor who was unable to contribute financially read about Lisa's plight in the newspaper, the London Jewish News and spontaneously decided that he would help.

Tests at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge showed that he was fit for the donation and he subsequently contacted the US hospital where the procedure and risks were explained to him.

He never doubted and on November 16, used his own savings to come to St. Louis.

"How can you ever thank someone who extends the gift of life as he has done?" said Lisa's father after the operations.

The donor's wife, Denise, said she was "enormously proud" of her husband.

She said: "I think it is wonderful, but of course I am very anxious."

"I don't think it would have mattered who's picture it had been in that paper that day, no matter where they were from or what religion, he just saw a little girl in need of help."

This man is Ronald Johnson. A bodhisattva among us, regardless of his religious belief.