“Give so others may live:” An organ donor turned that slogan a reality for a lucky recipient

Health

Having someone to give a piece of themselves for you to live a healthy life is the best option for people facing kidney failure.

Augusta University Health held its first transplant living legend walk to celebrate a donor who gave the gift of life.

AU’s transplant staff filled the halls of Carlos and Marguerite Solid Organ Transplant Center to cheer on Jennifer Clark, who donated her kidney.

She says the decision to donate happen after seeing a post on Facebook of one of her childhood friends needing a kidney. 

“I was walking down the first floor, and there is this big sign that said, April is national organ donor month,” said Clark. “And when I saw that sign, I started crying, and I said I know I’m going to be a match.”

Clark is a trauma nurse at the transplant center. She says now she and her friend share a unique bond.

“It is the best feeling I’ve ever felt,” said Clark.

The surgeon who performed the transplant says he is glad Clark decided to give life to someone else.

Dr. Muhammed Saeed says the average time to be on the waiting list for a kidney is about eight to ten years.

“In the state of Georgia, we have one of the highest numbers in diabetes and hypertension,” said Saeed.

Dr. Saeed says it’s a myth for a donor not to live a healthy life with one kidney. 

“Follow up with your primary physician under routine bases,” explained Saeed. “Eat healthily and do some exercise; you will have a very healthy life.”

The transplant center does about 25 kidney transplants a year. However, the surgeons say Georgia is in desperate need of more organ donors.

“We are looking forward to taking it to the next level and do 125 kidney transplants here in Augusta,” said Saeed.

“Every organ you have, I mean you don’t need them. So you need to give,” said Clark.

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