ORANGE ( — As a surgeon, Dr. Colleen Coleman is in the business of saving lives.

Often the people she helps are strangers, but she recently had the opportunity to help someone close to her: a colleague at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach.

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When Coleman heard that Dr. Brian Dunn, an anesthesiologist with whom she shares an operating room twice a month, was in need of a kidney transplant, she looked for a way to help.

After finding she was a match with her colleague, Coleman traded her scrubs for a patient gown and donated her organ.

She said it was just part of the job.

“I truly believe if I as a surgeon and physician couldn’t do this, after having participated in transplantation as part of my training and experience as a surgeon, how could I ask other people to give themselves,” Coleman said.

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The surgery was a success, and daily kidney dialysis is now just a memory for Dunn, who will be released from UC Irvine Medical Center Friday.

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that someone would make that sacrifice,” Dunn said. “It’s just amazing to me that someone would give something with no direct benefit, but that’s Colleen.”

Dunn, a self-described workaholic, said he’s eager to return to work and hopes to do so in about six weeks.

When that happens, the two physicians will share a bond that goes beyond being colleagues.

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“I’ll make it a point to go into her operating room and see how she’s doing and I bet she’ll come into my operating room to see how her kidney is doing,” Dunn said. “We’ll try and see each other more.”