PLAINFIELD — Ben Davis High School graduate Lynn Otter recently received a life-saving kidney transplant with the donation coming from an unlikely source.
Otter’s mother, Jackie Locke, donated one of her kidneys to her daughter 17 years ago.
“Lynn was born with one kidney,” Locke explained. “She contracted a staph infection that ate up that one kidney.”
After the transplant, mother and daughter both recovered well. But recently that transplanted kidney began to fail and Otter was against facing the prospect of going on dialysis.
This time her kidney came from long-time friend Thomas Mitchell of Indianapolis.
“Thomas was one of her first boyfriends when she was 17,” Locke said. “She was living temporarily with her dad in Indianapolis when they met. The two went together for about two years, but then broke up and lost sight of each other.”
Otter had graduated from the BDHS special education program in 1985. The two had not seen each other for nearly 30 years when they ran into each other once again.
“We had a car that needed to be towed,” Locke said. “Lynn went down to open the garage so the driver could tell where to stop. When he got out of the truck, he said, ‘Lynn is that you?’”
The tow truck driver was Mitchell. The two exchanged information and began to communicate once again. The reunion took place in 2008.
Otter and Mitchell have become good friends once again.
“He would go over to her house and visit and take her out to dinner,” Locke said.
In late 2013, Otter became sick again.
“It came on so sudden,” her mother said. “She has no immune system and she was going to have to go on dialysis. She had had the shunt put in to begin dialysis.”
When they told Mitchell that dialysis would have to begin soon, he decided he wanted to be tested to see if he was a match.