Transplant recipient meets donor's family

By Justin Fujioka
Published On: Oct 24 2013 06:03:00 PM HST

After seven years, a Hawaii patient who received a liver donation met the donor's family for the first time.

HONOLULU -

Complete strangers came together on Thursday to celebrate the gift of life.

Click here to watch Justin Fujioka's report.

Aresio Domingo has been waiting for this day for almost seven years.

"I'm so surprised that I'm going to meet them and I'm glad to meet them," he said. "I'm so happy. I'm so excited."

In a rare opportunity, Domingo, a local carpenter, got a chance to thank the family of the liver donor who gave him a second chance at life.

Emilio Martinez, 25, died in a construction accident on Maui in 2007 and his parents decided to donate his organs. His mother Elsa Ponce and sister came all the way from Argentina to meet Domingo.

"When you're faced with a tragedy such as this, that's all there is to it," Ponce said. "Giving life, it is giving life. It's very simple. It's not complicated. That's what should be done."

Martinez's liver saved Domingo from terminal liver cancer.

"So far, in that time, I feel great," said Domingo. "Never changed."

"For me, I always want to know everything, and it's very important for me to get to know everything I can know about Emilio's recipients," Ponce said. "It's very important for me to see the quality of life that they have because of him. Because this is what it is, it's donating life."

Domingo said, "I say very, very thank you, very much. It's very important to save lives. Just like mine."

Legacy of Life Hawaii organized the meeting. It said it's always looking for new organ donors, especially since every organ is not suitable for donation.

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