According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, as of Sunday at 5:30 pm, 113,745 people are waiting for an organ transplant. And as of Monday, there will be one less person on that list.
“When I went to the hospital they told me I was in kidney failure because of high blood pressure that I didn’t even know I had and pretty much from that day they told me I would most likely need a kidney transplant,” said Kay Fermin, who lives in Palmetto.
That was a year and a half ago when she was put on dialysis while waiting for a kidney match.
Her best friend since high school Elizabeth Marquez was one of the first to get tested.
“Oschner (Hospital) called me back and they were like ‘Elizabeth you can’t. You’re A+ and she’s B+’ and like I lost it,” said Elizabeth.
When she wasn’t a match, her husband Rene offered without hesitation. Since they live thousands of miles away in Arizona, Rene and Kay had only met in person once before.
Fortunately he was a perfect candidate.
“I guess it is a big deal but I don’t see it as a big deal. With 24 years in the military, you know I don’t see how an individual if able, wouldn’t save a life. Why wouldn’t you try?” he said with ease.
Now Kay, Rene and their families are getting ready to drive to New Orleans for the transplant surgery.
“It’s a feeling you can’t even imagine, that someone would do that for you,” said Kay.
“Yeah it was just a no brainer for everyone you know, we were just like ‘let’s go,'” said her best friend.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, someone is added to the waiting list every ten minutes. And each year, the number of people waiting for a transplant continues to be much larger than the amount of donors.
“Please if you can, go and be a donor for someone because it is saving my life,” pleaded Kay.