Lisa – Kidney Pancreas Recipient

lisa-raco-lgMeet Lisa. 15 years ago her diabetes finally started to take a toll on her kidneys. That meant dialysis for this nurse and mom. “You’re very tired, you’re left with not much time to yourself, it can make you anemic and that affected how I was, I slept a lot. I didn’t do my activities that I normally do,” Lisa explains.

She knew a transplant was her only option to getting her life back. Thankfully, Lisa says her wait wasn’t very long, “That’s just almost a miracle and I’m thankful for that every day.” But she didn’t just get a kidney; she got the option for a dual transplant, so she decided to get a new pancreas too. At the time, a kidney and pancreas transplant was a fairly new idea. “Usually you don’t get a kidney-pancreas together it was actually considered a bit on the experimental side when I first had it done 15 years ago,” says Lisa.

Now she has a feeling of hope with her new life, a feeling she still has even though it’s been years since her operation. “They’re just placed in, they don’t take out your old organs. I have three kidneys and two pancreases now, I’m pretty packed. So I’m stuffed, but I’m stuffed with love.” It’s all thanks to a donor she’ll never know. “To think that this poor person who passed away, I know that it was a car accident. I know that the family donated their daughter’s organs, that she was 18 years old. And that had to be a difficult decision for the family.” While Lisa was able to thank her donor’s family through a letter, she still has a heart of thanks to share with them. “I wanted them to know that I’m doing great, that I’m able to be a nurse, I’m able to be a piano teacher and most importantly I’m able to be a mom to my daughter, who is now in college. And do the things I couldn’t do before.” Since she can’t meet the donor family and tell them how thankful she is, Lisa has just one message for the family, “Salamat, thank you, I love you very much!”

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