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Stories of hope

Bridgett Bolar: Given a second chance

Transplant recipient, Bridgett

My journey with End Stage Renal Disease and my fight to conquer it.

I remember like it was yesterday, the day I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

I was working as a Manager in the Jewelry Department at Stein Mart in Mobile, AL. After I got off work, everyday my feet were all swollen and I could hardly make it to my car.

This went on for about 2 to 3 weeks when my mom finally convinced me to go to the doctor. The news we received was not something we didn’t expect and within three months I had started dialysis.

I continued working for a while, but dialysis and working was a bit too much to handle. The day I started dialysis, my mom sat in the waiting room and waited until I finished my treatment. I went back and forth to the unit three times a week, four hours a day for each treatment. The patients become your family as well. We would talk, laugh and even cry when something was going on with each other.

I did hemodialysis for seven years in center, and then I decided to do home hemodialysis where I had more freedom and didn’t have to leave the house. My mom and I trained for a couple of months before starting at home. I did this treatment for three years before my nurse talked me into getting on the transplant list at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, LA. Within six months, I received a kidney transplant. It’s been 26 years and I’m still fighting the fight.

Because my life was saved with the great GIFT OF LIFE, I want to be able to spread the word to let my donor family know I am very grateful and appreciative for a second chance to get it right. My mom passed away in 2022, but I’m still going to fight this fight.

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