Kidney donation reunites old friends

March 1, 2008 at 5:13 PM

NEW YORK, March 1 (UPI) -- Two childhood friends are celebrating their successful kidney donation and transplant in New York after being reconnected by a random online link.

While Karl Celestin and Ricardo Manier were good friends as children, it wasn't until Celestin's name appeared on Manier's Facebook account that the two reconnected. The New York Daily News said when Celestin learned Manier needed a kidney, the old friend offered him one of his own.

Manier lost his own kidney to a rare disease but now, thanks to his childhood friend, he has a new lease on life.

"It was a lifeline for me," Manier said following the pair's successful operations. "I was really sick, my body was shutting down. Eventually I would have fallen asleep and never woken up.

"He gave me something that's better than anything."

Doctors told the Daily News both surgeries went well and both men are expected to recover and enjoy their renewed friendship.

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