How A Tinder Date Made This Mom's Life-Saving Kidney Transplant Possible

She wanted a date. She got so much more.

"You would never think that just being on a dating app and maybe seeing if you could find someone for Friday night you'd end up helping save someone's life," Tinder user Jennifer Thomas told USA Today. 

But that's just she did.

According to People, Thomas and fellow online dater Rich O'Dea met up for the first time following a mutual right swipe at an Imagine Dragons show in Tampa, Florida this summer. Their conversation there was typical first date fare until O'Dea shared with Thomas the story of his good friend Erika Bragan, who had been on the kidney transplant list for almost three years with no luck. Her O-negative blood type was too limiting.

"I felt for Erika," Thomas told People. "I'm a mom and she's a mom and I just couldn't imagine being in her shoes and her children losing their mother. I knew I had to find a way to help her." 

Although Thomas and O'Dea turned out not to be a match, after three months of testing, Tampa General Hospital doctors discovered that Thomas and Bragan were. And on November 18, Thomas gave Bragan a life-saving kidney. 


USA Today reports that both women are happy and healthy well one month later, but the two still can't quite believe how it was that they found each other.

“Going on a Tinder date, maybe having a romantic relationship, that’s great, that’s wonderful,” Thomas told ABC News. “A lot of people do that, but I’ve gained something a lot better.”


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.