***First and foremost...
Thank you all for your concern about my Aunt and her road to recovery after a Kidney Transplant. Our Family's Goal is to ensure that Bridget and her family do not have to struggle or worry financially as she recovers from surgery. All donations will go to help pay for Bridget's medical and travel expenses as well as to help aid her with other bills and living expenses while she recovers.
***This is her story...
In the summer of 2007, Bridget's doctor noticed some abnormalities in her blood work so he sent her for a kidney ultrasound. After the ultrasound we learned that she had only one functioning kidney and was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease. She wasn’t really sure what all of this meant at the time. They placed her on different medications to help control her levels. She had to see her Nephrologist every 6 months for years, then it became every 4 months, and eventually every 3 months as her kidney function slowly dropped.
In August 2017, Bridget's kidney function dropped to 19%. Her doctor asked her if she wanted to look into the possibility of a transplant and of course her answer was yes. Her Doctor then contacted her Nephrologist to let him know that this is the route they wanted to take. Bridget's insurance required a place of excellence, so she chose Lankenau Transplant Center, in Philadelphia, PA, having known the facility from her Mother having received heart surgery there prior and how well they took care of her.
Bridget's first visit to Lankenau was in October 2017. The transplant team was very welcoming and informative. One of their requirements to be a candidate for transplant was that she had to be at a certain BMI and she was not at that point. She had to see their Kidney Nutritionist and she helped her with what and what not to eat.
Bridget began her new lifestyle change on October 29, 2017. With diet, exercise, and determination, by April of 2018, she had reached her goal weight to be put on the transplant list.
In June of 2018, she received the letter of approval to be put on the transplant list for a new kidney. With all of the diet and exercise, she was able to increase her eGFR (kidney function) to above 20%, which bought her some time. She was able to find different, healthy alternatives to the unhealthy snacks and has stuck with it to this day. She exercises every day and drinks plenty of water. Her eGFR actually reached 21% and stayed above 20% for close to a year. Over a little bit of time her eGFR gradually decreased and eventually dropped back down to 17.4% in September 2019.
As she counted the days on the transplant list, nothing had ever happened to make her think she would receive a transplant any time soon. Some people wait a long time on the list. So she started looking for a new job thinking she'd be ok for 2 months until she got her new insurance. Bridget's last day at her previous job was November 13, 2019 and her new job began on November 18, 2019.
On November 22, 2019, at approximately 2pm she was taking her dog, Freddie, for a walk and received a call from the transplant center. It happened to be her day off. Low and behold, they had an organ to offer her. It was a perfectly matched kidney for her from a 19 year old boy who had sadly passed from anaphylactic shock.
After just beginning a new job and being in between insurances, she panicked and didn’t know what to do. After 3 hours of pacing back and forth and talking it through with her family, she was finally able to tell them yes. At that point, the center told her that there were two other people ahead of her on the list and that she needed to keep her phone on. They said it would either be overnight or first thing in the morning before they would hear anything.
By 6:30am, on November 23, 2019, we hadn’t heard anything. She decided to go take a shower and go about her day and head to work. She was in the shower for all of 3 minutes and her phone rang and she was updated. Everything was looking good and that she needed to keep her phone on while she was at work.
While at work, the waiting was excruciating. She didn’t have good signal in the store. She went to use the restroom, looked at her phone, and saw that she had a voicemail from Lankenau. She didn’t listen to the message and immediately called them back. They told her that everything is going forward and she needed to wait for the final call to head to Lankenau. At this point, her boss wished her well and sent her home so she could focus on what might happen in the next few hours.
When she got home, she decided to take Freddie for a walk to relax herself and at that moment they called her with the words she would never forget and be eternally grateful for “Hi Bridget! It’s time! Get yourself together and head to the hospital!” Full of emotions, from the suddenly and unexpected news, she and her family would make the trip to Philadelphia.
At 930pm, she was headed into the OR.
She was scared and nervous and so many other things. She truly was not expecting this to happen any time soon. With lots of prayers and support, from family and friends, we were informed that Bridget's transplant was successful and that her new gift was working beautifully.
***Now for Bridget's Update...
She is now at home recovering, slowly but surely. She has to take it very easy, be mindful of her body's immune system, and visit Lankenau once a week for the next 6 weeks for check ups. Bridget will once again begin a new lifestyle change and have several medications that she will have to take the rest of her life. We are all praying that she won’t have any setbacks with her recovery.
"I want to thank everyone for their support and prayers. I have such love and support around me and I believe I picked the perfect place for my transplant. The transplant team is amazing and so helpful. I made it home just in time for Thanksgiving and I have so many blessings to be thankful for this year."
***Any donation is very much appreciated.Thank you in advance for your kind gesture.