ORLANDO, Fla., Feb 17, 2014 - Candace Grant faced a grim outlook because of her failed kidneys: nightly abdominal-dialysis sessions that robbed her of sleep; avoiding the home swimming pool she loved to minimize the risk of an infection; cutting family time to be in bed by 8pm for overnight dialysis.
But just before Valentine’s Day and her 34th birthday, Grant got the best gift of all from her sister: a kidney. The DeLand sisters underwent successful living-donor transplant surgery at Florida Hospital Orlando earlier this month. Now, they’re celebrating Grant’s health that has beat long odds: Nationally, nearly 107,000 people are on the kidney-transplant waiting list; about 4,700 people died waiting for a kidney in 2012, according to UNOS, the United Network for Organ Sharing.
“My sister gave me new life,” Grant says. “I love her.”
The sisters are not twins, but they might as well be. They were born 16 months apart; migrated from their native Jamaica to Florida at the same time; relocated to DeLand at the same time; and drive to work at the same time because they carpool to jobs at the same insurance company where they sit near each other. They live in different homes but continue talking at night via FaceTime video chats. Oh, get this: their husbands share the same birthday.
“Everybody says we should be twins,” says Darcel Taylor-Thomas, 32, who donated the kidney. “I’m really happy I was able to do this for her. I want to travel again and eat pizza with my sister.”
Both goals look attainable: Grant’s surgery went “very well” because she got a healthy kidney from a younger relative, says Dr. Giridhar Vedula a transplant surgeon at the Florida Hospital Transplant Institute. “She should be able to live a long, healthy and normal life.”
And because of her sister’s gift, Candace Grant will enjoy a special birthday later this month.
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