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Stories of hope

Matthew Kuchera: The gift of life during COVID-19

On March 13, 2020 the nation went under a state of emergency. I went under for nine hours for transplant of my kidney and pancreas. The inpatient transplant floor had only seven of us. This floor was only one of two at the time that had negative air flow. The other was the orthopedic floor in another tower altogether.

Because of this, all COVID-19 patients where immediately put on standby to move to the transplant floor. I was the last out of surgery and was only in my room for an hour. I became the first transplant patient on the orthopedic unit. There were two nurses who rolled me up in severe pain. My mom and wife were with us. The floor was completely dark and no one knew where any supplies were etc. It was complete chaos as I was reborn into life. Today is my six month kidney and pancreas anniversary.

I am so grateful I am alive because of my donor. To everyone suffering from kidney disease, is on dialysis, waiting for the gift of life, anything. Do not give up hope! You fight the fight hard and understand miracles do happen. Do not give up and God bless.

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Kidney, Pancreas, Stories, UNOS Ambassador

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