Valley nurse donates kidney to stranger, says she was inspired by 'Grey's Anatomy'

Posted at 6:44 PM, Jul 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-06 23:08:22-04

It's an amazing story, inspired by a television medical drama: A man has a complete stranger to thank for a live-saving kidney. The donation has now changed both of their lives for the better.

Kate Burris and Jim Ensslin now share a bond over one of Burris’ kidneys. 

Ensslin had a kidney disorder that slowly got worse over time. Recently, his kidney function dropped to 10 percent of a normal kidney. He was placed on an organ donation list.

Burris, who is a nurse at Mayo Hospital and at Banner Health in Phoenix, was inspired by an episode of Grey's Anatomy, which centered on an organ transplant. She decided to donate her kidney, unaware of who it would receive it.

"I would 100 percent do it again if I could, it was just such an amazing experience for me. I gave a kidney, but I’ve gained a family,” Burris said.

"All of a sudden, she came out of nowhere, and I was the lucky recipient and it’s kind of like a relief and elation both," Ensslin said.

Burris and Ensslin met for the first time just four days after the transplant. Now, three months later, they are sharing their story. They hope it inspires others to research organ donation to save more lives.