San Antonio restaurant manager donates kidney to save customer’s life

SAN ANTONIO — A Texas woman finally found a match after being on a waiting list for a kidney for more than 11 years. The donation for her transplant came from an unlikely place.

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Cecilia Canizanes developed a friendship with Sophia Parrish, a manager at Bill Miller Bar-B-Q in San Antonio, KSAT reported. Their acquaintance began after Parrish asked why Canizanes only wanted a small amount of water with her order. It led to a kidney transplant that helped save Canizanes’ life.

“Canizanes starts talking, ‘Hello ma’am, how are you?’ And we just like, completely and utterly clicked,” Parrish told the television station.

Parrish learned about Canizanes’ condition and was also drawn to the woman because she reminded her of a favorite aunt, according to KSAT.

The restaurant manager decided to see if she was a match for Canizanes, who had handed out dozens of donor cards through the years asking friends, family and strangers for help.

“I do anything, everything to help anybody. And if I’m able to help somebody, then I will. And that’s what I did,” Parrish told KSAT. “And I said, at least I can do is at least to see if I’m a match.”

To Parrish’s surprise, she was a match. She decided to donate one of her kidneys.

“It’s in our nature to help people, because if you can’t help people, then why are we here?” Parrish told the television station. “You know, we need to help each other as much as possible.”

Both women responded well to the surgery and are on the road to recovery.

Michelle Segovia, director of communications for the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance, says this year has been successful in getting more people to become registered donors.

“They have the opportunity to save up to eight lives through (an) organ donation,” she told KSAT.