San Diego

Bumper sticker leads to life changing kidney transplant

No longer strangers; kidney donor and recipient share unimaginable story at Sharp Memorial Hospital.

SAN DIEGO — A bumper sticker on the again of a truck lead to a life changing kidney transplant. In this Zevely Zone, I met the donor and recipient at Sharp Memorial Hospital. Asking a stranger for assist may be tough, particularly when the request is a kidney. “I felt pretty rotten,” stated Annemieke Frost Hutchinson. 

The 48-year-old Serra Mesa resident was residing with polycystic kidney illness. “I would wake up in the morning and have some water and then I would throw up and it was just really bad. It was awful,” stated Annemieke who obtained a graft in her arm for dialysis. “This is a scar from it, and this was from all of the pokes,” stated Annemieke. 

She had dialysis three days every week which was no picnic. “They would prick one side and this side with big needles,” stated Annemieke. What the spouse and mom wanted was a brand new kidney. “Nothing was panning out,” stated Annemieke who thought to herself perhaps her husband may assist. “He is my rock. He was very determined to help me,” stated Annemieke.  

Her husband Justin cleans barbeques and drives everywhere in the county in his work truck. Justin coated his truck with big magnetic bumper stickers that learn ‘Wife Needs Kidney’. 

“I told my bosses I am going to do it I don’t care what you guys say I got three magnets one on each side and back, got some calls and finally got the right call,” stated Justin.

That name got here from a center college trainer residing in Scripps Ranch. “It was one of those moments where everything slows down,” stated Gwen Smith. The 52-year-old noticed the signal as an indication. 

“Instantly I hear, you are going to be that person’s match. I felt it and I am like I am that person’s match,” stated Gwen. 

She was and Sharp Healthcare known as Annemieke with the excellent news. “I was like what?” stated Annemieke. “It blew my mind really to think that someone I didn’t know man or woman would see that sign and then think for real I am going to give a part of me to a complete stranger that I don’t know that I have never seen before.” 

The two ladies met for the primary time after the transplant surgical procedure. Gwen, a mom of three, says she by no means hesitated and did not even discuss to her household in regards to the determination. “I am a go person, I am a go person, I am a yes person,” stated Gwen.  

According to Sharp HealthCare, there are at the moment 19,000 Californians on the nationwide kidney transplant ready listing; as a result of ready for somebody to move away and donate a kidney can take so lengthy, the choice for residing donors is turning into much more frequent. 

“If we can get the word out that there are so many ways to give when you are alive and help someone like this beautiful person that you can help now that is the big message, I hope we can get out,” stated Gwen.

Annemieke added, “It’s just amazing that a total stranger would donate a kidney to someone they don’t know. I don’t know how to explain it, it’s amazing.”

Kidney transplantation offers hope to 1000’s of sufferers with continual kidney failure. It gives freedom from dialysis and the flexibility to lead a extra lively, more healthy life. Sharp HealthCare’s Kidney and Pancreas Transplant workforce makes use of the most recent analysis, scientific trials and surgical strategies, in addition to personalised drug remedy to meet your wants.

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“Some people would say why would you donate? For me, a human life is a human life,” stated Gwen. As for that scar on Annemieke’s arm? “I like to say it’s a shark bite, ha, ha, ha,” laughed Annemieke. “It’s so heroic to me, it still amazes me every day.”

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The two ladies name themselves soul sisters for life. Their transplant surgical procedures happened on April 11, 2022. Both Annemieke and Gwen say they really feel terrific.

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