Starbucks barista donates her kidney to her customer-friend

A Starbucks Barista Sandie Andersen, who became friends with one of her daily customers, is donating a kidney to keep the woman off dialysis.

Dialysis is primarily used to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function due to renal failure. Dialysis may be used for very sick patients who have suddenly but temporarily, lost their kidney function or for quite stable patients who have permanently lost their kidney function. When healthy, the kidneys maintain the body's internal equilibrium of water and minerals and remove from the blood the daily metabolic load of fixed hydrogen ions. The kidneys also function as a part of the endocrine system. Dialysis treatments imperfectly replace some of these functions through the diffusion that is waste removal and convection or fluid removal. Dialysis is an imperfect treatment to replace kidney function because it does not correct the endocrine functions of the kidney.

Last fall, Sandie’s regular customer Annamarie Ausnes, told her she was suffering from kidney disease and in desperate need of a donor. The problem, no one in her family was a match.

Annamarie said, "If I wasn't getting the kidney today, I would be on dialysis today and that's how close it was."

The women soon learned that they shared the same blood type. Turns out Sandie was a match. After talking it over with her husband she decided to donate her left kidney to Annamarie.

The women underwent a 5 and-a-half hour operation where surgeons removed the organ and placed it into Annamarie.

Sandie will be out of work for six weeks to recover.

Annamarie says words can't describe her gratitude. "I will be forever grateful to her for the rest of my life. My family is forever grateful to Sandie. And I am so honored to have a part of her," said Annamarie.

The women have now become best friends.

Ausnes will need to take medication for the rest of her life to make sure her body does not reject Anderson's kidney.