Giving the Gift of Life for a Second Time
My name is Brittany Elways, and I have been with DaVita for eight years as a patient care technician, having recently transferred into the new Kidney Home Center in Baltimore Maryland. When I was 16, I was diagnosed with end stage renal disease. At this time I was still a kid, very active in playing volleyball and softball. I really didn’t know how bad I had become. It turns out I had urine reflux and when I was diagnosed, it was already too late. Once the doctors were able to fix my urinary reflux, the time came to think about the next step in end-stage renal disease.
My amazing mother, Tisha Minton, didn’t even question stepping up and seeing if she was a match for donation. She has been working in dialysis for more than 28 years, and she understood the consequences and the problems that I would be facing the rest of my life. She didn’t even stop and think about herself, and understood the necessity of being a living donor.
“It really didn’t cross my mind to not give her anything I could,” my mom said. Through the next year, we underwent test after test of blood work until we finally found out that we were indeed a match for each other. This was best news we could hope for. On September 2008, I was given another chance at life by receiving my mom’s kidney. She truly gave me the gift of life for a second time around. I didn’t realize how bad I had felt until I woke up from the transplant and felt amazing.
Now almost 10 years later, at 27 years old, my health and my kidneys are doing great. I am currently working on getting my degree in nursing, and my mom has been working at the same clinic for 25 years until it just recently was moved. Now she is a nocturnal patient care technician. If it wasn’t for my mom doing everything she has done and having a background of knowledge in dialysis, I would not have made it this far. I am a very lucky person to have a great mom who realized the value of being a living donor!