Patient StoriesMarch 5 2024

Becky - Life-Saving Kidney Transplant

March is National Kidney Month and we are inspired by the story of Becky, a patient who received a life-saving kidney transplant earlier this year. At the age of 26, Becky learned via routine lab work that, despite being young, active, and healthy, she had a renal insufficiency. In 2018, a kidney biopsy determined that she had developed Focal Segmented Glomerular Sclerosis, better known as FSGS, making the possibility of dialysis and a kidney transplant likely.
“I knew nothing about kidney diseases at the time of my first diagnosis, but I immediately began to search the internet to educate myself to make my kidneys last as long as possible," Becky said. I made changes to my diet and tried to remain active, but dealt with many challenges in doing so.”
Recognizing it was time to pursue kidney transplant, Becky went through the comprehensive work up process at UT Medical Center, Transplant Center, where she was successfully placed on the waitlist and began her wait for a life-saving organ.
After learning that donor kidneys were available – only to go to recipients in line before her – Becky grew skeptical. “When I got the call that another donor kidney was available,” Becky said, “I didn’t think that it was going to be mine. But the nurse stayed in regular communication with me that day and had me start to prepare, just in case. At 2:00 AM, she called back and asked if I wanted to have a kidney transplant. My response was an enthusiastic ‘Heck, yeah!’”
Arriving at UT Medical Center hours later, Becky was prepped and wheeled into the Operating Room. When she woke up after the surgery, she was happy to discover that she had a new working kidney. 
“Drs. Grandas and Creighton are my heroes for their experienced hands and judgment,” Becky said. “Dr. Stephen Kiss has been my nephrologist and has seen me through all the stages of my diagnoses and treatment. His advice and care were key in extending the life of my kidneys before having to start dialysis.” 
From her Primary Care Physician Dr. Komal Kirpekar and her nurse Sherry to the Transplant Center and the Home Therapy Clinic, Becky notes that she had excellent care throughout the entire process. “I cannot say enough about the UT Medical OR staff, the ICU staff, and all of the nurses, physical therapists and so many others who made my stay in the hospital an experience to remember,” she said.
Today, Becky is grateful for many things and says she learned to make the most of the time she has. “Even with my challenges, I have had so many opportunities that many others have not, and I am humbly thankful for all of them.”