Ailing Natalie Cole now has a new kidney. The 59-year-old singer underwent successful kidney transplant surgery "and is resting comfortably," publicist Maureen O'Connor said.
Cole had been receiving dialysis three times a week since September. The kidney dialysis is unrelated to Cole's struggle with hepatitis C, a liver disease spread through contact with infected blood. She announced her hepatitis diagnosis last year, and said that the disease was likely caused by her drug use years ago.
Cole received painful chemotherapy to treat the hepatitis and "within four months, I had kidney failure," she told Larry King on his CNN show last month. Without a donor, she would need dialysis for the rest of her life, she said.
After her appearance on King, she received countless letters from people offering to give her a kidney. But a regional organ-procurement agency, One Legacy, found a kidney for her. – (Sapa, May 2009)
Natalie Cole diagnosed with hep C
New way to keep kidneys fresh