“Waiting for a donated kidney was not at the forefront of my mind while my name was on the list,” said Debra Reid, 55, of Charleston. “I just went on with my life, adjusting to dialysis and settling for less.”
After she experienced complete renal failure in 2005, Debra waited nearly three years for a kidney. During that time she learned to live with peritoneal dialysis and accepted a life of hauling around supplies and dialysis equipment. She didn’t let the dialysis keep her from vacations with her family or other things she needed to do. She was functioning and she thought that was enough.
She was on vacation at the beach when she received the call to come to the MUSC Transplant Center. Three hours later, she walked in the door fully prepared because the nurses had kept her and her family so well informed.
“The sixth floor East nurses are dedicated to kidney transplants. They really support you, and you become part of a family where everyone rallies for each other,” she said.
Debra fully appreciates the extraordinary gift of a functioning kidney.
“My quality of life is so much better. I can sleep in any bed and go places without all of the extra baggage. My eyes have cleared up, I’ve gained weight, and my complexion has improved,” she said. “Before, I was living at a substandard level and I adjusted to it. I didn’t realize what a blessing it would be to have a functioning organ.”
Debra feels extremely grateful to the donor family for her “salvation,” and to the doctors and nurses at MUSC. “Everyone at MUSC was phenomenal in terms of support and outstanding response,” she said. She also appreciates all the prayers from her family, friends, and church. “It’s a ripple effect. You don’t realize the positive impact a miracle like this has on the people around you.”