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UPDATE: Kidney donation surgeries go well

Posted at 3:43 PM, Dec 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-23 16:59:26-05

Last week, we told you about Ali Hooks, an Opelousas native who needed a kidney. Her mom's longtime friend, Bambi Polotzola, turned out to be a match and offered her kidney.

Today, both women underwent surgery in Dallas, and everyone came through with flying colors, a family friend tells KATC.

"It's a Christmas miracle," she said.

Here's the original story:

"I was just your normal healthy girl...never been so sick, never was in the hospital, never been to the ER in my life. I played every sport. I was on the student council."

When 19-year-old Ali Hooks graduated from Westminster Christian Academy last year, she decided to attend Texas Tech. She was in her first semester when she received devastating news.

Hooks explained, "It came to the point where I couldn't breathe, basically. I thought I was having an asthma attack and I walked into the ER and they right there just told me instantly that I need dialysis...my kidneys were gone."

She was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure and for more than a year, she has been going to dialysis three times a week. Doctors told her she would need a kidney transplant.

"The wait time for a kidney is about seven years at the earliest," she said.

In the meantime, she would have to continue dialysis. So her family reached out to find a living donor.

"A lot of my friends and family got tested, but no one was a match. We did find one thankfully."

Ali's new kidney will come from her mother's lifelong best friend, Bambi Polotzola.

"I finally made it through all the hurdles," said Polotzola, "I'm a perfect match and my health is really good. Good enough to be a donor. We have our surgery scheduled for Monday."

"Now, she just so happy finally to be able to...after the surgery, hopefully be healthy and go on and life the great life I know she'll live."

Ali's reaction to the news was emotional.

"I broke down crying, realizing that she was a match and that this is my last semester that I have to go through dialysis."

Ali says her Christmas will be on Monday, when she gets the ultimate gift - her new kidney.

"It's the best Christmas. I don't want anything else. This is all I need."