May
9

How Cord Blood Saved My life, TWICE!

Me enjoying my life on the streets of Puerto Rico

Me enjoying my life on the streets of Puerto Rico

I am excited to report possibly the most exciting research I have found to date…

As you probably already know my sisters cord blood saved my life in 1989. What you may not know is that this cord blood helped save my life again in 2006.  When my sister donated her kidney for my kidney transplant something extra special happened. Since receiving the cord blood transplant her kidney couldn’t tell the difference from her body to mine! The truly amazing part besides having a perfect donor, is that unlike all other transplant recipients, I do not and never will  have to take ANY medication associated with transplantation. This has helped provide me with a much higher quality of life.  As there are several medications involved with numerous life altering side effects.

Why I’m so excited:

I just read an article about how scientist are performing research at this time to essentially perform bone marrow/ cord blood transplants simultaneously with kidney transplants from the same donor.  I am living proof that this works and it is only a matter of time before more and more people will be given this same opportunity. To read more about this research please check out this article: http://allaboutcordblood.com/whats_new/cordblood_news/15

I am lucky just to say I’m a survivor of a cord blood transplant but I am even luckier to say that cord blood helped save my life more than once!

So please join m in my efforts to raise awareness about this incredible cause!

Together We Can Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

Oct
3

Kidney Transplant Day- Part II

Continued from “The Special Two”-Kidney Transplant Day: Part I

 

………….As my family waited anxiously in the waiting room , the hours seemed to pass like weeks and the seconds like days. Five hours later some relief finally came, when Emily came out of surgery. She was doing as well, as could be expected and taken directly to a room.  The anticipation continued to build when 5 hours later no one had heard anything about me. Mom and dad began to get very concerned at the 10 hour mark and were begging for some answers.  Had the perfect opportunity to save my life just turned into the perfect nightmare?

A couple of hours later a doctor approached the waiting area to explain my condition.  The head of surgery began by expressing,  that he was upset because he was interrupted during his dinner, to come to the hospital and help with the transplant. “They called me during my dinner to come here and finish the mess they created.” In response to the doctors attitude, Dad now says, he was surprised he didn’t hit him.  An error in the placing of Emily’s kidney caused them to take the kidney out, put it on ice and place it in a different location in my body.  Mom and dad followed the doctor to the ICU recovery room to see me for the first time after surgery.  When they reached my room, moms knees hit the hard floor as tears rolled down her cheek.  To mom and dad I was nearly unrecognizable, my face and entire body were so swollen from fluid,  that I had to be  connected to a ventilator.  Since the surgery had lasted twice as long as expected,  the doctors induced a coma to allow my body to heal easier and quicker. As dad picked mom up off the floor they made there way back to the waiting area.  Greeted with very anxious family members they explained what was going on.  Everyone was flooded with emotions, they were concerned but extremely grateful that I was alive. Cindy recalls this moment, as a moment that left no dry eye in the room.

For the next two days I remained in a coma. When I finally woke up I couldn’t talk because I was still on the ventilator and my eyes were so swollen that I could barely see.

My New Firsts:

First Face I saw: Jeff

First voice I heard: Mom

First “I love you”: Dad

First tears I saw: Emily

First hug: Audrey

First Thought: Oh my gosh I’m alive, Is Emily OK?

I couldn’t talk, so I would write down what I wanted to say.  I wasn’t in a lot of pain, but  my mouth was full of sores and was extremely dry.  The first few days are very blurry but what I do remember, I will never forget. Emily was on a different floor of the hospital than I was, so everyone went back in forth from her room to mine. However, I was NEVER alone, someone was always there. The day that I woke up Dad brought Emily down in a wheel chair. He put the wheel chair on the left hand side of my bed, Emily reached out and touched my hands with tears rolling down her face. This moment broke my heart, I hated that I had made her cry.

This is just one excerpt,  there is much more to this story and many others that can be found in my upcoming book. 

Please let me know your thoughts!

Together We CAN Help Save lives,

Natalie Curry

Sep
6

“The Special Two”

Audrey, Dad, Me and Emily just days after the kidney transplant!

Audrey, Dad, Me and Emily just days after the kidney transplant!

I want to share another story from, my upcoming book!

Kidney Transplant-Part 1:

I’ll never forget the feelings I had that day, I had been dreading this moment for years and it had finally arrived. I had a lump the size of a golf ball in my throat, a relentless churning in my stomach and a sharp pain resting deep in my heart. I remember these feelings like it was yesterday.

It all started when I was 17 and I was diagnosed with chronic renal failure. I was shocked, to say the least, to be receiving such a grim diagnosis so suddenly.  I had an extremely active life style and enjoyed the same activities all the other kids at my high school enjoyed. In the course of about three months I went from feeling fine to being seriously ill and admitted into the ICU. The doctors told me that I was going to have to have a kidney transplant, and that it was only a matter of time. “ How much time?” I wondered, two weeks, a few months or years? Immediately the doctors acknowledged that I would need a donor. Luckily we didn’t have to look far. Since my younger sister, Emily was the donor for my cord blood transplant, she was a perfect match to donate her kidney.  Emily jumped at the opportunity and said “ I AM going to give Natalie my kidney, I don‘t want anyone else to do it.”  Only one BIG problem! At that time Emily was only 14, and couldn’t legally donate until she was 18. Could I wait four more years, would her kidney fit in my body, and what did this mean for Emily’s future? These are the questions that I was faced with. I was never concerned for myself, only for Emily. The thought of anything happening to her at my expense was more than I could bare.

With a very strict and regulated schedule of medications, my condition was stabilized. I was never fully able to go back to normal life, but was so glad to be out of the hospital. Under very close observation of doctors and numerous medication daily, I was able to remain stable for about FOUR years.  Let me ask you “Do you believe in miracles?” Well you should, because what I’m about to tell you is nothing short of that!  My counts had remained stable until right after Emily’s 18th birthday. This was the blessing we had all been hoping for.

When my counts had dropped to the point of no return, it was time for the transplant. Emily and I were both admitted into the hospital the day before the transplant. In the company of close friends we slept side by side in the same room. For me it was a sleepless night that felt like it lasted for weeks. As I lay in my bed next to hers, I watched her sleep, I prayed and I felt NO fear for myself. As tears rolled down my cheeks I knew that in the morning everything could change forever.

When morning came, Mom, Dad, Jeff (best Stepdad ever), Cindy (Best Stepmom ever), Audrey (Amazing sister) and my grandparents arrived. There was an uncomfortable silence in the room, as we all waited for the transplant to begin.  A short while later the doctors came in to take Emily back to the OR. It seemed as though my heart was going to stop beating. Fighting back the tears, I watched them roll, my baby sister down the hall. Not knowing if I’d ever see her alive again, I ran after her begging them to take me first. With a big hug, a kiss and an I love you, she was gone…………

There is much more to this story and many others that can be found in my upcoming book!

PLEASE share your thoughts with me, on twitter and facebook!

Together We CAN Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

Cord Blood saved my life once and who would have imagined it could save my life twice! It is the reason I had a perfect match in Emily for my kidney transplant and the reason I am able to share my stories with you. Please help me spread the news about this incredible life saving resource.

 

WordPress SEO