By writer to abcnews.go.com
Taylor Pikkarainen, a touring nurse, spent over two months this spring on project in New Jersey helping to save the lives of patients with COVID-19.
Pikkarainen, 27, then returned to her residence state of Minnesota to save lots of the lifetime of a younger boy by donating her kidney.
“It simply feels actually nice that he’s wholesome and completely satisfied,” Pikkarainen instructed “Good Morning America” of Bodie, who will flip 2 in December. “It is superb and I am very, very grateful.”
Pikkarainen came upon about Bodie’s want for a kidney earlier this yr via her sister-in-law, who’s an in depth good friend of Bodie’s mother, Gloria Corridor.
Bodie was born with congenital nephrotic syndrome, a life-threatening situation that causes your physique to discharge an excessive amount of protein in urine and in the end progresses to kidney failure, according to M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, the place he underwent the transplant in July.
One in all Bodie’s 4 older siblings additionally has the syndrome and required a kidney transplant 5 years in the past; Corridor was the donor. As a result of Corridor had already donated a kidney and her husband, Bodie’s father, was not a match for his or her son, the household put out a plea for a kidney donor.
As soon as Pikkarainen heard in regards to the want, she knew nearly instantly she wished to be Bodie’s donor.
“I used to be sitting there and simply shortly seemed up the unintended effects for me as a donor, for giving up a kidney,” she mentioned. “There’s all the time a danger with surgical procedure however there was no elevated danger for kidney illness or kidney failure, having one kidney versus two.”
“And inside half an hour I used to be signing up,” she continued.
Corridor, who lives in a city neighboring Pikkarainen, mentioned she remembers the precise second she obtained a name “out of the blue” in February that her son lastly had a kidney donor.
“I suppose the most important feeling was … of aid as a result of it actually was the factor hanging over our heads,” mentioned Corridor, who didn’t know on the time that Pikkarainen was the donor. “We knew it was the purpose the place he wanted to have the surgical procedure and we clearly couldn’t have the surgical procedure with no kidney donor.”
Bodie spent one month within the hospital after his delivery and has needed to endure frequent infusions to assist enhance his kidney operate. He has additionally relied on a feeding tube for the reason that age of seven months, in response to Corridor.
Pikkarainen mentioned she thought of remaining nameless as Bodie’s donor, however then determined to inform the Halls by sending a letter and a stuffed animal for Bodie.
She additionally met Bodie in particular person for the primary time a number of days earlier than the transplant, which was delayed as a result of coronavirus pandemic.
“His nephrectomy was imagined to be in March, proper across the begin of COVID,” mentioned Corridor, referring to the surgical procedure that needed to be completed to take away Bodie’s kidneys earlier than the transplant. “And so they instructed us they needed to delay the surgical procedure.”
“The hospital principally shut down all non-emergency surgical procedures,” she mentioned. “For us, worrying about Bodie and his well being, it was irritating, however on the identical time, no person at the moment knew how the entire state of affairs was going to go.”
Bodie’s nephrectomy was rescheduled for Might and he underwent eight weeks of dialysis, which concerned being hooked as much as an IV for 4 hours at a time 4 occasions every week, in response to Corridor.
On July 9, Pikkarainen’s 27th birthday, Bodie obtained her donated kidney in a transplant process that lasted round six hours.
“It is onerous to place it in phrases,” Corridor mentioned of her household’s gratitude to Pikkarainen. “We couldn’t actually imagine it, actually, that somebody we hardly know and never even a member of the family could be so keen to offer considered one of their organs.”
“It’s probably the most superb present I believe that you may give any person,” she mentioned.
Pikkarainen mentioned she was discharged from the hospital after simply three days and had a superb restoration, including that she hopes sharing her story will assist encourage different folks to be organ donors.
Throughout the USA, greater than 109,000 persons are on the organ transplant ready checklist, with the bulk in want of kidneys, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“I’d by no means had surgical procedure earlier than or been hospitalized so I didn’t know what to anticipate,” she mentioned. “I assumed it was going to be tougher than it was, truly.”
“I’d 100% do it once more,” she added.
Bodie is recovering nicely too and took his first steps after the transplant, in response to Corridor. The household additionally expects Bodie will quickly have the ability to have his feeding tube eliminated.
He, like his older sister with the identical situation, will keep on an anti-rejection treatment for the remainder of his life however is in any other case anticipated to steer a traditional, wholesome life, in response to Corridor.
” outdated footage, you possibly can inform he seemed pale and had this sunken look in his eyes, which we didn’t even notice as a result of that’s simply how he seemed,” she mentioned of Bodie. “Now you possibly can inform he simply feels so a lot better.”
“We’re actually grateful that she stepped up and adopted via and did such a pleasant factor,” Corridor mentioned of Pikkarainen, to whom she sends close to each day textual content updates on Bodie’s enchancment.
— to abcnews.go.com