WVPA Sharing

Employee of The Health Plan receives lifesaving kidney from coworker

WV Press Release Sharing

WHEELING, W.Va. – The Health Plan (THP) is sharing the inspiring story of one of its employees who selflessly donated a kidney to a colleague in need of a life-saving transplant. 

The remarkable journey began when Heather Jones learned her colleague Susan Klinkoski needed a kidney transplant after decades of battling chronic kidney disease. Recognizing her coworker’s need, Heather took it upon herself to undergo extensive testing that determined she was a perfect match for the donation. 

“I don’t know what the odds are of having the person you sit next to everyday being the perfect match, but I would be curious to hear what that number really is,” said Susan Klinkoski, director of clinical programs at The Health Plan. “It truly is miraculous.” 

The highly anticipated surgeries took place at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center earlier in the year. While the road to recovery was difficult, the operations were both successful, and the pair are now sharing their stories with the hope of inspiring others.  

“You can live with just one kidney – I’m living proof,” said Heather Jones, director of utilization management at The Health Plan. “I can see the improvements in Susan’s overall health, and I’m incredibly grateful for that. That’s what this was all about.” 

“The act of kindness displayed by Heather is a testament to the exceptional individuals that make up the THP team,” said Jeff Knight, president and CEO of The Health Plan. “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Heather, and we are grateful to know Susan’s health has been continuously improving since the surgery.” 

On Tuesday, August 15, the THP team released a video sharing Susan and Heather’s inspirational story, outlining the pair’s struggles and triumphs throughout the months-long process. That video can be viewed by clicking here.