Giving up: One of your organs

Giving up: One of your organs (Image 1)

Giving up can actually be life-changing. 8 On Your Side is finding people who’ve made huge sacrifices for their own benefit or the benefit of others.

One Tampa Bay woman saved a life through an incredible gift – she gave up one of her organs.

In the mid-1990s, Crystal and Brett Wallace instantly bonded. Their journey as a couple has been a fun ride, until 2010 when Brett Wallace was diagnosed with Stage 5 kidney failure.

“I just went on with life not realizing I was getting sicker and sicker and sicker and I was getting weaker and weaker and weaker,” Brett said. He could potentially wait years for a donor or spend the rest of his days on dialysis.

Tampa General Hospital is one of the leaders in Florida for living donor transplants. Nationwide, more than 100,000 people are waiting for a kidney, and yet there are millions of potential matches walking around every day.

So Crystal Wallace got tested, and learned her kidney was a match. So for her, it was a no-brainer. She was going to give up one of her kidneys.

Brett was stunned when he realized the news. He said, “It was kinda shocking, definitely.”

In February, Crystal went under the knife to give her husband the greatest gift she possibly could offer.

“There’s no better donation than life. I mean, you can’t put a price on that,” she said.

Brett Wallace is now still alive thanks to her. “I’ve had some ups and downs, but as for my kidney function its coming back just as yours would.”

Crystal Wallace is just as healthy as ever, and happy that her sacrifice means Brett can stay by her side. “I’m very thankful to have been able to save my best friend’s life,” she said.

Crystal and Brett wanted to share this story to show others that young or old, anyone is able to donate a kidney, and it’s a gift that can make a world of difference. Experts at Tampa General Hospital say living donor transplants are more successful than organs from the deceased. That’s because there’s a less chance of the body rejecting it.

Donors and patients do not need to be related; they don’t even need to know each other.

For more information on how this works, visit Tampa General Hospital Living Kidney Donor Program.

Copyright 2015 WFLA. All rights reserved.

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s