An altruistic act by North Carolina resident Honica Brittman to save a stranger by donating a kidney saved five lives.
After the mother of four decided to donate her kidney it started what doctors refer to as a kidney transplant chain.
Dr. Lloyd Ratner, professor of surgery and director of renal and pancreatic transplantation at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia said: "That set off a chain of events where we were able to use a person who is a universal donor to give to someone who could only receive a blood group O kidney.
"And then we matched the ages of the recipients, as well as the blood types, with the donor and we resulted in five transplants plus someone who didn't have a donor on our waiting list getting a kidney as well."
Adam Abernathy from New York urgently needed a kidney transplant, as both of his only functioned at five per cent combined.
His life partner David Ferguson was a universal match, meaning his kidney could be donated to anyone.
He said: "There was some leaning toward, you know, me just giving my kidney to Adam, just for sentimental reasons, but when we thought about somebody else needing a kidney and us possibly being in that same position, we couldn't not, you know, go for that."
Ferguson decided to donate his kidney to someone who needed a specific blood type, and Abernathy received a kidney from Brittman.
Abernathy said that even though Ferguson's kidney won't be his, the act will still save his life indirectly.
If all the transplants are successful five donors with healthy kidneys have been forever connected to five patients, and it all began with a single act of kindness.