On June 15, 2010, Lyne Beaulieu of Granby gave a kidney to six-year-old Raphaëlle Gosselin, changing her life forever.

Raphaëlle had been suffering from kidney failure from a very tender age. In November 2008, when she was four, doctors decided to remove both her kidneys because they’d stopped working. After the operation, she had to undergo dialysis twelve hours a day, every weekday for two years until she was old enough to receive a donor kidney.

It was Raphaëlle’s grandmother who made Lyne aware of the child’s situation. Touched by her story and by how young she was, she decided to donate a kidney to Raphaëlle. Lyne is a universal donor, so she knew she was compatible.

She had met Raphaëlle only a few months before deciding to give her a kidney. She contacted Sainte-Justine Hospital to tell them what she wanted to do, and then, under the supervision of Dr. Clermont, she underwent a series of compulsory tests in the first half of 2010. Lyne persevered and pushed the hospital to minimize the time between tests. Her goal was to get Raphaëlle her transplant as soon as possible to spare her the painful dialysis treatments. “I admire this family. They’re what kept me going,” said Lyne.

Lyne and Raphaëlle met only once more before the transplant. Lyne gave Raphaëlle a stuffed toy. “It’ll bring you good news,” Lyne told her.

The transplant took place on June 15, 2010, and was successful.

In the days that followed, Lyne received a call from Raphaëlle, who told her the good news. She had just finished drinking a glass of apple juice, a glass of orange juice and a glass of water, one after the other. Lyne knew that such simple things meant the world to the little girl and was overjoyed to see Raphaëlle leading a normal life like all the other girls her age.

However, Lyne keeps a low profile when it comes to Raphaëlle’s family. “I didn’t give her my kidney, I just gave her a kidney,” she said. “I’m just a link in the long chain of life.” She added that during this “incredible journey of solidarity,” she had “experienced great things.” She would also like to draw attention to the “outstanding skills of the doctors and the kindness of the nurses” throughout the transplant process.

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