ROY -- Toni Perkins was built to give her kidney to her brother.
That's what the doctor at the University of Utah Hospital told her after her kidney was successfully transplanted into her brother's body earlier this month.
Chris Green, 58 and of Roy, was diagnosed with diabetes in 1997. At the time, Perkins, 55, of West Point, made the decision that if her brother ever needed a kidney transplant, she would step up to the plate and donate one of hers.
"After Chris started dialysis about a year and a half ago, I was more determined to be able to carry out the donation," Perkins said.
Since his diagnosis, Green said he has dealt with severe ulcers on his feet, causing all five of his left toes to be amputated. He contracted the dangerous MRSA infection, and went blind after emergency surgery to relieve swelling in his optic nerves. By July 2012 his kidneys were failing and doctors asked him if he knew of anyone who would be willing to donate a kidney to him.
"I was caught off guard and my reaction was (donating a kidney) was far too big a sacrifice to ask of anyone," Green said. "My first reaction was just to go on Hospice."
After continuing therapy to try to slow the kidney failure, his name was submitted for evaluation as a transplant recipient.
"During this time, unbeknownst to me, my two youngest daughters and both sisters began making plans to identify one of them as a donor," he said.
Perkins began going through the testing process, which she said included numerous medical tests as well as a psychological examination.
"As I began going through the screening to see if I would match, my coordinator called after a blood draw to tell me I was a match and I could proceed with the next assessment. She said, 'In fact, you are an identical match,'" Perkins said. "Even though I had many more tests to go through, that gave me hope."
Perkins then had a CT scan on her kidneys and was told she had one regular kidney and one irregular kidney, which meant that no matter which type Green needed, Perkins could provide it.
Perkins continued to pass every test, then chose Oct. 1 as the date she would give one of her kidneys to her brother.
"On the Saturday before surgery, our family had a fast, praying that everything would work out and the surgeries would be successful," Perkins said.
The surgery was successful and both siblings are doing well.
"After the surgery, the surgeon said to me, 'You were built to give this kidney to Chris,'" Perkins said. "Our surgeries each took about an hour less than what they though they would take. Chris has not used any pain medication since surgery and I have used very little. I believe those all to be miracles in making the transplant happen successfully."
Green will have to take three anti-rejection medications for the rest of his life and will be on a strict low sodium diabetic diet. He said his new kidney is working great.
"There is no way I can ever express my gratitude to her for putting her life on the line to save mine," Green said of his sister. "We have a very close family and this is the ultimate expression of love."