SOUTH PORTLAND – Tonight, it’s on hold. A South Portland woman found a donor by posting a message on her car window. But now she’ll have to wait longer for a new kidney.
Maine Medical Center says the spontaneous fundraising efforts to help the *donor* raised too much money… Raising legal and ethical concerns..
“He just wanted to be a good example,” Ashley Dall-Leighton says her husband Josh, “didn’t think twice when he saw this plea for a kidney on the back of a car.” “His first thought was this mom, she’s a mom her son needs her as it turns out, Josh is a perfect match for 24 year old Christine Royles. My husband has in a sense turned into her hero but a transplant comes with costs, so Royles organized fundraisers to cover expenses while josh is out of work. Someone else started a go fund me page that unexpectedly raised over 48,000 it was really overwhelming.”
“At Josh’s first evaluation at Maine medical center on Wednesday. The dollar amount raised eyebrows and concerns. They’re concerned that people’s outpouring of generosity for our family could be perceived as selling an organ and was money ever any incentive for josh to step up and do this?”
“No way “
Officials at Maine Medical Center are frustrated, too. They say the donor and patient are top priority, but they also have to make sure they don’t violate federal law. There’s an unprecedented element to this case Dr. John Vella of the Maine Transplant Program says the average out of pocket expense of a living organ donor is just 6,000 dollars. Meant to cover travel, lost wages and miscellaneous medical costs. The 1984 law doesn’t specify where the money should come from. And Vella says the hospital isn’t making accusations. Clearly this was an altruistic offer Maine Medical Center is consulting outside legal counsel and other groups for guidance on the law. Dr. John Vella At this point, we’re not viewing that as a deal breaker or a reason not to proceed with the kidney donation.”
Ashley says a response needs to come quickly. “It’s definitely frustrating and overwhelming and what do we do? I would hate for Christine to die while we wait to get an answer.”