SoCal firefighter's need for kidney donor ends with 2 lives saved

Tammy Basile wanted to give her coworker's son her kidney, but when he found another donor, she decided to donate to a stranger.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Becky Yourex and Tammy Basile have worked together for the past 25 years at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach.

"I've always you know, seen things on TV about donating organs and donating kidneys in particular, and I wondered, 'Gosh I wonder how you do that and what you would go about to do that' and Becky started talking about how her son needed a kidney," said Basile.

Basile without hesitation said she would get screened to see if she could be a match for Becky's son, Lyle.

Lyle Yourex is a firefighter for Cal Fire in San Diego.

Becky Yourex said the news of her son's kidneys failing was a double whammy because she lost her younger son in 2019.

"I had already just lost a son so it was really devastating. It came out of the blue you know?" said Yourex.

Lyle Yourex's cousin ended up stepping forward to donate his kidney to him.

"I told him I'm just like, 'I don't know how to put into words how I grateful I am because just saying thank you makes me feel ridiculous,'" said Yourex.

Yourex had his surgery in October of 2020, but Basile wanted to still help someone in need.

She decided to donate her kidney to a complete stranger.

Tammy went into surgery on June 23 of this year.

"It flew there to Arizona, was implanted in the recipient and was making urine by 3 p.m. that day, so to be able to have that impact on someone's life just feels so great," said Basile.

Since Basile donated altruistically, she got a voucher which allows her to give someone a chance to go to the top of the kidney transplant list.

While Basile didn't donate her kidney to Yourex, she said the voucher may help him in the future if he needs another surgery.

Both Basile and Yourex are doing well after their surgeries and have returned to work.

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