NKFF Patient Story – July 2018

From Marie Elebash…

Yes, I believe in miracles.

My son needed a second kidney transplant to live. The prediction from his doctors’ was that it would take 10 years for him to be at the top of the list for donor kidneys because of the long list of people who needed a kidney. However, we decided to actively campaign for that kidney.

We put a large sticker on the back window of our cars that read:

Save Our Son-DONATE AN O POSITIVE KIDNEY BY CALLING 321-632-1971.

We generated several calls and recruited five volunteers from those stickers, but none of the possible donors passed the required physical testing.

By chance, one of our best friends posted the extreme need of my son for a kidney on her Facebook. Her nephew sent word that he would be glad to donate a kidney.

He lived in Kansas and was only 21 years old. However, he persisted and was tested. He was a good possible match. The process is slow. By the time he flew to Richmond to be tested by the transplant team at Virginia Commonwealth University my son had already been through several transfusions.

As a result, he and his donor were referred to an organization known as UNOS. They take donors and recipients and test them for the best possible match in a group. My son’s group contained 5 donors and recipients from across the U.S. After testing they determined that my son’s donor was a better match for a long-waiting recipient in Philadelphia. Shortly afterward, my son was matched with a 32 year old donor in Minnesota. 

On June 29, 2017, all five donors had their kidneys removed and sent by private volunteer pilots and their airplanes to various states. Our donor’s kidney was removed in Minnesota at 6:30 am and arrived in Richmond at 6:30 pm of the same day!   

All five transplants were done on the same day. The kidneys were quick frozen and transported to the proper destination. These miracles are performed every day.  Once, I was told they had 70 transplants across the country, all on the same day!

Believe! And be very grateful for the wonderful achievements of doctors and their knowledge.

Thank you to all that saved my son.