Georgia Kidney Donor Steps Up for Florida Patient

August 26, 2020

Kidney transplant recipient Rhonda

Knowing she needed a new kidney, Rhonda was living with uncertainty. “Before I got the transplant, I was close to going on dialysis,” she said.

Her doctors were hoping for a donor so she could avoid dialysis, which can cause complications with a transplant. “Because he stepped up, I didn’t need dialysis.”

Rhonda is referring to her coworker John, from Atlanta, who offered to donate his kidney to her when he found out they had matching blood types. “I was like, get out of here,” said Rhonda.

But John was serious, and soon their lives were forever joined by kidney transplant surgery.

“This young lady had second stage kidney disease secondary to a recurrent autoimmune disease,” said Juan Arenas, MD, chief, Memorial Transplant Institute. “I performed the donor operation; Tjasa Hranjec, MD, trauma and acute care surgeon, and Kathryn Shaw, MD, transplant surgeon, did the recipient operation.”

“It went very, very well,” he added.

“All of the doctors are great. The nurses are great. They’ve taken really good care of me,” Rhonda concluded.

Rhonda’s Kidney Transplant Crosses Florida-Georgia Line

kidney transplant rhonda and john
When Rhonda’s coworker, John, learned that her kidney was failing, he came from Georgia to Florida to donate one of his kidneys to help her.