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The gift of a kidney is most precious gift

The gift of a kidney is most precious gift
The gift of a kidney is most precious gift | Morgan and Troy Rutkowski, kidney transplant

Troy Rutkowski (right) now has an even bigger reason to smile as his sister, Morgan (left), will be part of a group donation that will provide him with a new kidney.
Troy Rutkowski’s mother and sister know that he’s a very special person. They believe it so strongly that they each contributed a gift that will help ensure he stays alive.
Morgan Rutkowski, Troy’s sister, explained that when her brother was born, the combination of his being premature and his mother contracting a virus while being pregnant with him resulted in improper functioning of his kidneys. A doctor at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital performed a surgery that had not been tried on an infant before and it proved to be successful.
“There were so many complications that at the age of five, he received a kidney from our mom,” she said. “But the kidney ran its course and when young children receive organ donations, the organs don’t grow with the children. They remain the same size.”
Troy, now 22, has outgrown his kidney and needs another one and that’s where his sister stepped in. The new kidney he will be receiving is supposed to last him for the rest of his life. His sister, however, did not prove to be a match, but another brother and sister on the list at Vanderbilt Hospital were faced with the same problem, so Morgan Rutkowski will donate one kidney to them and they will, in turn, donate a kidney to her brother and through the process of switching, two lives will now be affected.
“The anti-rejection drugs Troy took when he was growing up made it much harder for there to be a match in our family,” Morgan said. “I thought because I’m an O donor, I could donate to anyone else and I even went so far as to ask if any of the doctors had seen ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’”
Vanderbilt Hospital is working on expanding the donation unit and Morgan was put on the list. Two months later, she was asked if she was still willing to donate and after agreeing, she was told about the other brother and sister pair just waiting for a match.
“They are in a similar situation. They don’t match either, but by my donating to them and with their donation to my brother, the switching process will work out,” she said.
Morgan Rutkowski is a Dresden native. She graduated from Kettering University in Flint, Mich., with a degree in mechanical engineering and interned at MTD in Martin. She’s proven herself to be independent and hard working thus far in her short life, but she’s never done anything like this before and she readily admits she’s nervous.
In two weeks, she will be in Vanderbilt Hospital undergoing an operation that will lead to a longer life for her brother. With one kidney, her life won’t be affected too much other than she’ll just have to watch her diet and medicine intake more closely.
“I’m nervous. This is the closest thing to real surgery that I’ve ever had,” she said. “This will be my first hospital stay. Troy has been on dialysis for a while, though, so we’re excited about making this switch and we’re especially happy that another family will benefit as well.
“And that is how lucky we have been. This worked out better then we could have hoped. And the support we have received from family and friends has been unbelievable.”

WCP 10.20.11

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