Friday, Dec 6, 2013
Benton Women Gets New Kidney
BENTON -- A Franklin County woman is living proof of the power of organ donation. Back in August told you how she was in desperate need of a kidney. A month ago a kidney became available, giving her a second chance at life.
It was the phone call that changed Kara McKee's life.
"Yes! I have a new kidney! I got the call in the middle of the night and they said, how soon can you be here?' I said, 'I'm on my way," says McKee.
The 40-year-old was diagnosed with kidney failure two years ago. When WSIL saw her in August she was on dialysis, could barely walk and was in the final stage of the disease. But one phone call changed everything.
"The first thing I did was call Tony, my fiance and then my girls. All four of them. We all started crying," explains McKee.
Since the transplant, she's been walking with a walker and doing more for herself. Before, her fiance and her neighbor, Nola Quillman, were handling household chores.
"I thought I was going to lose her and now she's back," says Quillman.
Quillman still goes over to her house every day to help but now she does it without worry.
"I come over now and if she's laying down, I don't worry about it. I just turn around and go home and come back when she's up," says Quillman.
Kara is still fighting diabetes and blood pressure issues. But she's determined to live life to the fullest and take good care of her new organ.
"I don't want to just do it for me. I want to honor the person that gave it to me," says McKee.
McKee sees a physical therapist 2 to 3 times a week and it will be 6 months to a year before she can walk on her own.
"I'm waiting to see her walk out to that car and drive somewhere and wait for her. Then I'll know she's totally independent," say Quillman.
In 3 months she'll be allowed to send a letter to the donor family.
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