Moshiko with Eric 3 years ago
Photo: Shaul Golan
This Sunday, 13-year-old Moshiko Sharon will take the stage at an Ashkelon party hall and, like any well-mannered boy at his bar mitzvah, will thank his parents "who have brought me to this point." But unlike his classmates, Moshiko has a third adult to thank for quite literally allowing him to reach this important religious milestone.
Three years ago the entire nation followed Moshiko's story with bated breath after a complete stranger from the United States donated a kidney to the young boy, thus saving his life.
The donor, Kansas City resident Eric Swim, will be the guest of honor at the festivities surrounding Moshiko's right-of-passage.
But Swim won't be lonely at the party, more than 1,000 people are expected to attend, including several high-profile guests who Moshiko's mother is remaining mum about to surprise her son.
Moshiko was born with only one functioning kidney and was in desperate need of a transplant. A suitable match, through the HOD (Halachic Organ Donor) Society, was finally located in the generous Swim, who agreed to come to Israel and go under the knife.
The two were operated on simultaneously and the transplant was declared a success.
Since then, Moshiko and Swim have kept in daily contact, speaking on the phone and writing each other emails as well as meeting up from time to time.
Swim, who is currently staying with the Sharon family, came laden with gifts for Moshiko and his family. "I thank God that we have reached this day," he said after landing in Israel.