My name is Wanda Harney and I am from the small state of RI where the ocean and its beaches bring much joy to many year round. Especially me.
I was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2017 due to hypertension and diabetes complications. My working years were spent involved in big pharma, so naturally I was always interested in learning more! My diagnosis prompted more learning and discussion with my doctors around the understanding and options for kidney failure.
I visited area dialysis centers to discuss the different types of dialysis and which type best for me when the time came. I spoke to my insurance provider to determine if a kidney transplant would be recommended, or if feasible, and how to go about it. As time progressed, I knew my direction and had a plan with the help of my primary care, nephrologist and endocrinologist doctors along with insurance provider.
During the months leading up to May of 2022, my kidney functions started to decline to the point it was affecting daily life. I didn’t sleep well, tossing and turning all night, feeling poorly, frequently going to the bathroom, back aches, itching and upsets. I didn’t have much stamina during waking hours to work on my flower gardens or even enjoy an occasional outing at the beach. In May of 2022, I started dialysis 3 days a week, 3 hours per day. (6:30-10:30 am) it was very scary to say the least, but I knew it would help me feel better, and it did! I was starting to feel so much better within a few short weeks!
I’ve been working with the Yale New Haven Transplantation Center in New Haven, CT since 2019. They shared information with me and evaluated my health to determine whether I was suitable for the program. Once all my testing was completed, I was admitted/added to the UNOS donor list in December, 2019 for a deceased donor.
I’ve been busy spreading the word, have had a deceased donor offer and a living donor offer so far. Optimistically awaiting the right donor to come along!
I’m excited to spread my story further, focusing attention on my interests in a living donor. Typically because of the shorter wait time and recovery with the living donor transplant. If only more people were better educated on the donor process. I’ve learned so much from the Yale New Haven Transplantation Center, ynhh.org/organdonation and the National Kidney Foundation. There is also new legislation being introduced to employers to allow paid leave for those employees wishing to be an organ donor. I’ve contacted my representatives in RI to let them know how I feel and where I stand on kidney donation.
The process is completely confidential to anyone interested in becoming a donor or starting the process. I would love for you to share my story as far and wide as you wish. Having waited this long and learned so much, met so many fine people along the way, I love telling my story! There is so much good to share for those that want to learn and share. God bless those that give! It’s heart warming. I will humbly receive a living donor if offered.
If you are considering being a living donor please use links below to contact Wanda Harney's Transplant Center. Begin by completing the donor questionnaire
There are currently 120,000 people waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant in the U.S. Of these, 100,000 await kidney transplants.
The median wait time for a kidney transplant is 3-5 years and can vary depending on health, compatibility, and where you live.
In 2014, 17,107 kidney transplants took place in the U.S. Of these, 11,570 came from deceased donors and 5,537 came from living donors.
Every 14 minutes someone is added to the kidney transplant waitlist.
A kidney from a living donor lasts longer and begins functioning more quickly than a kidney from a deceased donor.
In 1995, kidney donation became minimally invasive with a procedure called laparoscopic nephrectomy, which only requires four small incisions. Hospital stay is typically only 3 days after this operation.
Not blood type compatible with your recipient to be a living donor? Kidney Paired Donation (the “kidney swap” program) enables incompatible candidates with a living donor to receive a kidney from a compatible donor.
Last year, over 700 living donor kidney transplants occurred using Kidney Paired Donation.
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