SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Intermountain Health marks 40 years of kidney transplants, a milestone of miracles. KUTV’s Kristen Kenney sat down with two Utah sisters who benefited from this shared lifesaving donation, after one sibling became the perfect match.
Diane Woolford was just living her normal life.
“I was walking every day, going to work every day,” she told 2News Kristen Kenney.
Until she went into a routine checkup and received shocking news that she was in Stage 3 kidney failure and needed a kidney transplant.
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“All the emotions of where we get a kidney,” she said.
Diane turned to those closest to her, including friends and family members, to see if someone would be a match.
“We went down the list and no, no no,” said Diane.
Then the last result came in from her younger sister Lecia Johnson.
It was the perfect match.
“It is a miracle,” they told Kenney.
A miracle because according to Dr. Donald Morris, Medical Director of Intermountain Health Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation, over 600 people in Utah are waiting for a kidney.
“We have an overall organ shortage,” he told Kenney. Living donors are a critical lifesaving gift for both parties, he added.
In the case of Diane and Lecia, this gift has bonded them forever.
“I got to take care of this kidney because it was perfect, and it was hers,” said Diane.
The two sisters went into surgery in June and told Kenney they are amazed with their recovery. They are encouraging others to be a donor and make sure to keep up on routine exams. That one exam saved Diane’s life, she said, and could save others.