Phoenix-area nurse donates kidney to stranger, saves his life

Jul 6, 2016, 5:40 PM | Updated: 6:19 pm
Jim Ensslin and Kim Burris meet for the first time after Ensslin received Burris' donated kidney.  ...

Jim Ensslin and Kim Burris meet for the first time after Ensslin received Burris' donated kidney. Photo by Dignity Health.

A Peoria, Arizona, man is healthy today, thanks to a complete stranger who gave him a kidney.

Jim Ensslin, 56, had been battling kidney disease for 17 years, and had about 10 percent kidney function. He was close to going on to dialysis, when he received a lifesaving gift.

Kate Burris, 27, of Scottsdale, Arizona, wanted to donate her kidney to someone she had never met. It’s called an altruistic kidney donation, and she said because the risks were minimal, it was worth it to help someone else.

“I just thought, I don’t need this kidney. Somebody else does,” Burris said.

Photo by Dignity Health

Kim Burris after surgery, by Dignity Health

So Burris, who works as a nurse, had one of her kidneys removed back on March 22nd at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.

Ensslin had been on the transplant list for two months before receiving the kidney, and a new lease on life.

“It’s allowed me to keep my career [and] keep my life going,” Ensslin said.

Both Burris and Ensslin have returned to work. The two of them met for the first time four days after surgery, and Burris called the moment “surreal.”

“It was awesome to see how grateful he was and how much this really impacted his whole family and everyone he knew,” Burris said. “I didn’t quite realize how many people I was affecting by doing this.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A voter casts his ballot at a drop box on Nov. 8, 2022, in Mesa, Arizona. After months of candidate...
SuElen Rivera

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors responds to AG’s office about voting issues

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Sunday responded to the Arizona Attorney General's Office about voting issues on the Nov. 8 election.
24 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Enchant Scottsdale)...

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Nov. 25-27

More Christmas events are popping up around the Valley and the police are looking for tips into a couple homicides over the weekend. Here are this weekend's top stories.
24 hours ago
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...

Suspect arrested after man fatally shot at Phoenix gas station

A man allegedly involved in the fatal shooting of a man at a Phoenix gas station was arrested Saturday.
24 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Detectives investigating fatal hit-and-run with pedestrian in wheelchair in Goodyear

A woman in a wheelchair died after she was struck by a vehicle in Goodyear Saturday evening, authorities said.
24 hours ago
(City of Peoria Photo)...
Audrey Jensen/Phoenix Business Journal

Peoria approves tax incentive agreement with mixed-use project developer

Peoria moved forward with what could be the final development agreement needed for a new mixed-use office project called Stadium Point.
24 hours ago
Follow @KTAR923...

Downtown Chandler hosts life-sized holiday treats display ‘Sugarland’

Downtown Chandler kicked off the holiday season with an interactive Christmas display filled with life-sized treats on Saturday.
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Phoenix-area nurse donates kidney to stranger, saves his life