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Michael Judd – Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Recipient

On December 10, 2005, I was having Christmas dinner with my family.  I became ill and wasn’t sure what had happened.  I was sent to Hardin Memorial for testing.  They diagnosed me with renal failure.  It was caused from a long life of diabetes.  It had damaged a lot of my body. 

The doctors told me that I would have to go on dialysis.  After about 8 months, the doctors told me I was a candidate for a transplant.  I went through the testing for this, and found I had four heart blockages.  I was taken off the waiting list until I could get them fixed. 

After getting the blockages fixed, I was placed back on the transplant waiting list.  After about 12 months, the first call came, and my family and I were all nervous, scared, and happy at the same time.  To our disappointment, the organs were unable to be transplanted and we were sent home heartbroken. 

I remained on the waiting list for another four more months, when the second call came. Again, on the way to Louisville, we were all nervous, scared and happy.  Three and a half days later, a working kidney and pancreas, a new life, and a new family were given to me. 

A few months after my transplant, we found out about my donor.  A 16 year old man had been taken from his mother.  It has been almost three years now, and I still go to see her and visit my young donor’s grave site, because now I know them as “my family”.  A transplant has given me a second chance at life: to be a son, husband, brother father, and uncle.