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2 strangers share special connection through organ donation: ‘They were finishing each others sentences’

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MILWAUKEE -- Medical experts say finding an organ donor who is a perfect match for you is rare, but having that person become a great friend of yours in an instant -- that may be even more uncommon.

Two strangers who share a special connection -- the gift of an organ -- met for the first time on Wednesday, Oct. 2.

"It's something I've always wanted to do," said Carl Williams, kidney donor. "I've never told anybody that, but it's something I've wanted to do."

Tom Zachek, Carl Williams

Williams gave a healthy kidney to Tom Zachek.

"It was great," Zachek said. "It was something I had looked forward to."

During their first meeting on Wednesday, something happened. They clicked.

Dr. Ajay Sahajpal

"They were finishing each other's sentences," said Dr. Ajay Sahajpal, director of transplants at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center. "They got along instantly very well."

A perfect match on paper does not always guarantee a strong match in person, but for these two, it was as close as they could possibly get.

"I hope we keep in contact, just to see how he's doing," Williams said. "I still have a Tarzan comic book I'd like to give him, so I have to meet him at least one more time."

Tom Zachek

Carl Williams

"They could have told me that they were buddies for 20 years and I would have believed them," Dr. Sahajpal said.

"It's not hard," Zachek said. He's a great guy."

Williams told FOX6 News he donated his organ on a whim -- truly. He was visiting someone at the hospital -- and while there, he went down to the transplant desk and asked to be a donor. Now that he has donated, Williams says the kidney is just a good excuse to check in on his new friend.

If you would like to learn more about organ donation, you are invited to visit donatelifewisconsin.org. Register online to be a donor, get answers to your questions, and watch stories about the donor registration process.

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