Transplant patients are turning to social networks in ever greater numbers in their desperate search for organs - and appear to be getting results.
Researchers examined nearly 100 Facebook pages set up to find living kidney donors for patients aged from two to 69.
The team from Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago found that such pages were surprisingly successful.
Online plea: Ricky Cisco (right) donated a kidney to a Facebook friend he hardly knew after reading about the plight of Roxy and Jeff Kurze (left)
One in eight page subjects reported receiving a kidney transplant while nearly a third (30 per cent) said potential donors had stepped forward to see if they were compatible. One appeal site for a young child encouraged more than 600 people to be tested as potential donors.
Patients who were successful in soliciting people to be tested for donation were more likely to be white and have more than 50 posts by others.
While 37 per cent of the pages were set up by the patient themselves, 31 per cent were created by their children and 32 per cent by other family or friends.
Some pages simply asked people to donate, without providing any other information. However, other pages provided great detail about the patients including medical histories, family photos and emotional accounts.
Jeff Kurze, from Michigan, was one such patient. He suffered kidney failure following a stroke in 2010 and doctors said the waiting list was five-years long.
His wife Roxy turned to Facebook and posted: ‘Wishing a kidney would fall out of the sky so my husband can stop suffering. So if anyone knows of a live donor with type O blood, PLEASE let me know.'
Then she received a message from Ricky Cisco, 25, a Facebook friend who she had only met once through work.
Mr Cisco did not even know her husband by name, but said he wanted to help.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2149152/Facebook-appeals-living-kidney-donors-surprisingly-successful.html#ixzz1voJMqEgR