• Tulsa woman donates kidney to long lost childhood friend


    TULSA, Okla. - Quick Facts:

    • Two Tulsa women grew up together and were friends through high school
    • They lost touch soon after
    • One of them has a kidney defect and needs a transplant.
    • The friend found out through Facebook and donates her kidney
    • The two haven't spoken in 36 years.

    A Tulsa woman relied on the help of a long lost childhood friend for a lifesaving procedure.

    Claudia Smith and Belinda Ball grew up together in Tulsa. They went the original Eisenhower Elementary and were friends through high school before losing touch.

    Ball has had a kidney defect since birth and it has gotten to the point where she is at end-stage renal failure.

    Her husband was the perfect match to donate, but just before the surgery they found something in his system that disqualified him.

    Smith said she saw a Facebook post from Ball pleading for anyone who could be tested for a donation to consider it. She decided to go get tested without telling Ball until she learned that she is a match.

    WATCH: Claudia Smith discusses her decision to help Belinda Ball:

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    Smith then called Ball to tell her the news. It was the first time they had heard each other’s voices in 36 years. She told Ball that she planned to donate her kidney to her.

    The two met in Oklahoma City on Sunday. They were both out of surgery Monday afternoon. The procedure went well, and they are both recovering.

    They will be in the hospital until Christmas.

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