Mother receives kidneys from dying daughter

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

CHICAGO -- A 3-year-old girl killed by a falling tree limb gave the gift of life to her mother -- the girl's kidneys were transplanted into her mother, who says she feels healthy for the first time in years.

"She gave me 3 1/2 years of the most happy days of my life, and before she left she gave me the greatest gift of all," Michele Garibay said Monday, the day her daughter Elise Badillo was buried.

Dr. Chris Clardy at University of Chicago Children's Hospital didn't broach the subject of the unique transplant until Elise was brain dead, and only after Garibay and the girl's father, David Badillo, had decided to go ahead with organ donation.

"I did not know if I could do it," Garibay said. "But I thought, 'What would she say to me?' She would have said, 'Mom, don't be stupid, do it.'"

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