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Recipient Stories

My Two Transplants

My name is Mary and for 2 very separate reasons, I have been blessed to receive 2 different kinds of transplants.

My story began when I was 19 years old. I found out that I had high blood pressure and damaged kidneys. I was told I would have to take blood pressure medication for the rest of my life and that I should not have any children. Like most 19-year-olds, I didn’t take everything the doctors said too seriously.

I faithfully took my blood pressure medicine and went on with my life.

When I was 25 years old I was pregnant. I had some major complications so they had to take my daughter prematurely. They said she wouldn’t live, but she did. Less than a year later, I was pregnant with my second daughter. I again had some major complications including that my kidneys almost shut down. They had to take her prematurely also. The doctor felt that it was too dangerous for me to have any more kids, so my tubes were tied and I again went on with my life.

When I was 36 years old I went to my doctor with a female concern. He sent me to see a specialist who told me that my kidneys were failing. He told me that in about 9 months to a year and a half my kidneys would no longer function. He gave me a book about options for when your kidneys fail including information about transplantation and the different kinds of dialysis treatments. I was sent home to read the book and decide what types of treatment options I would like to pursue when the time came that my kidneys wouldn’t work on their own.

About a year later my kidneys failed. I felt that I was not ready to go through with a transplant because it is such a major operation. I had decided on peritoneal dialysis because it could be done at home over night with a cycler machine leaving my days free to spend with my girls.

After over 2 years on dialysis I decided that I was ready for a transplant. I received my gift of life on April 24, 1995. This wonderful gift gave me a return to health that I couldn’t imagine.

Little did I know I would soon also become a bone tissue recipient. In the fall of 2001 I was experiencing pain in my right arm. I went to my doctor and he ran some tests and sent me to see a specialist. They told me that I needed to have cervical disk surgery for two herniated disks in my neck. I received the bone tissue on November 29, 2001.

I know that in order for my life to go on, others had lost theirs. My heart goes out to those families. Because two different people and their families said yes to donation, my life has been blessed and enriched.

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