Marblehead woman receives two new kidneys after year-long search


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MARBLEHEAD — There have been indicators posted round city, an internet marketing campaign, and a dire plea from a girl who desperately wanted a kidney transplant. Now, she’s gotten that transplant. 

Andrea Gleason left the hospital Thursday with two new kidneys, and a refound optimistic outlook on life. 

“I can pee once more,” Gleason mentioned. “I will be regular.”

Gleason, 39, was a lifelong resident of Marblehead earlier than going to varsity in Vermont after which transferring to New York Metropolis to take a job in finance. The previous triathlon runner was at all times extraordinarily lively till her aorta ruptured 10 years in the past, resulting in a mess of well being issues, together with kidney illness and renal failure, and he or she’s spent years out and in of hospitals, and the final yr searching for a brand new kidney.

Marblehead residents could have seen Gleason’s purple indicators staked round city, asking potential “stay donors” — folks keen to sacrifice a few of their very own well being to donate Gleason their kidney — to go to to start out the donation course of. Gleason additionally posted on Marblehead Fb pages searching for a donor, and Marblehead’s Warwick Theater put up messages about Gleason on its marquee. 

However, finally, it wasn’t her personal marketing campaign that led to Gleason receiving a transplant. Gleason bought the decision from her physician two weeks in the past {that a} totally different donor had been discovered. 

“I used to be simply on the brink of go residence, to Marblehead, for July and I bought that decision,” Gleason mentioned. “My physician referred to as at 11:30 p.m. at evening, and instructed me. The subsequent day, I went in.”

Due to her slight body, Gleason was in a position to settle for not one, however two new kidneys from a just lately deceased toddler — two new kidneys was thought-about optimum given Gleason’s well being situation, however she beforehand didn’t assume it will be potential as a result of she was searching for a stay donor. 

Gleason mentioned she paused for a second when her physician first referred to as with the information, as a result of a Marblehead resident was within the remaining levels of gaining approval to be a stay donor. However she shortly realized there was no level in ready, and instructed the physician, “Sure,” earlier than hanging up the telephone.

Whereas the kidneys don’t come from a stay donor like Gleason was initially searching for, she mentioned her medical doctors have assured her the kidneys will develop with time. Main as much as the transplants, Gleason mentioned her life was one among fixed ache. She suffered from power fatigue, virtually no urge for food, stress, a foggy “kidney mind” state, and a mess of different well being points. 

Gleason has a totally artificial aorta, and the current transplant is her fifth main surgical procedure since 10 years in the past, when her aorta ruptured on an in any other case “regular” day — she believes the rupture was because of congenital elements, given the prevalence of coronary heart issues in her household. 

Due to the quantity of remedy she is at present taking — 33 tablets a day, together with ache remedy and anti-rejection remedy — Gleason mentioned it’s arduous to inform if she “feels any higher” but. In any case, it’s solely been two weeks since she bought her new kidneys. 

Nonetheless, Gleason mentioned she is full of optimism following the process. 

“I really feel like I can lead a sure life I need to lead, and I can’t wait,” Gleason mentioned. 

Gleason mentioned the donor, though they’re now deceased, will at all times be saved nameless, and he or she has no concept the place her new kidneys got here from. 

For now, Gleason has to remain in New York Metropolis for frequent checkups along with her physician, however as quickly as she will, she’s going to return to Marblehead. 

“I can’t wait to come back residence,” Gleason mentioned. 

Greater than 10 folks from Marblehead — a number of of whom she doesn’t know — initiated the method of changing into a stay donor, Gleason mentioned. And though they didn’t finally grow to be her donors, she is eternally grateful for the help proven by residents of her hometown. 


Marblehead lady receives two new kidneys after year-long search – Itemlive : Itemlive


Andrea Gleason, who was born and raised in Marblehead, has efficiently acquired two kidney implants.
(Olivia Falcigno)