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Kidney Swap is First at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital 

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Smithfield Couple to Donate and Receive Kidneys To and From Others - Helping Two Recipients Receive Transplants Sooner

Smithfield, VA (December 2011) – Collin and Jacki Bruce had been married for less than a year when her kidneys started to fail from Type 2 Diabetes. That was in 2006.
Today, Jacki is on home dialysis every other day. The disease forced her to close her massage therapy practice. 

Couple participates in Kidney Swap

 Collin and Jacki Bruce

“I just didn’t have the stamina to stand on my feet all day,” she says.

Collin wanted to donate a kidney to Jacki, but their blood types made them incompatible. However, a transplant coordinator at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital suggested a non-directed kidney swap coordinated through the National Kidney Registry.

Collin agreed to participate and on Tuesday, December 6, 2011, he will donate a kidney to a stranger in another state. On the same day, Jacki will receive a kidney from an anonymous donor in another state.

After almost five years on dialysis, Jacki says she was having “a bad day in a bad month” when she got the call about a potential donor match.

“It was absolutely amazing,” she laughs . “I was shaking and crying and I called Collin at work to tell him.” Collin, a supervisor in systems engineering with Dominion Virginia Power, says his employer of 17 years has been very supportive.

“We work around doctor visits and tests,” he says. “It’s basically, ‘Do what you need to do and we’ll work it out later.’”

“It’s a wonderful program,” Jacki says of kidney swaps. “I never knew someone could be a living donor.”

“Donating is a win-win situation,” Collin says. “You find out how healthy you are and the person you love gets a kidney.” He continues. “There’s no downside to it.”

Related Links:
Sentara Transplant Center
National Kidney Foundation
LifeNet Health
Donate Life Virginia

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