2017 Transplant and Organ Donation Calendar: Kidney Exchange
When Brigitt Capps donated one of her kidneys so her father, Roger Ballweg, could receive a much-needed kidney transplant, she was nervous - it was her first surgery.
But now, she feels that participating in a three-way paired kidney exchange at the UW Health Transplant Program was an amazing experience. "If I had three kidneys, I would do it again," says Brigitt.
Brigitt and Roger were two of the six people who participated in the exchange in February 2016. A paired kidney exchange is when a living donor is incompatible with the recipient, and so exchanges kidneys with another donor-recipient pair.
In this case, there were three pairs who participated in a "round-robin" kidney exchange: Joyce Doty of Hammond, Ind., gave her kidney to Tami Hinz of Bonduel, Wis.; Tami's family friend Teresa Vandenbusch of Pulaski, Wis., gave her kidney to Roger, a Madison resident; and Brigitt, who lives in Waunakee, Wis., gave her kidney to John Babbitt of Munster, Ind., who knew Joyce through church.
All three recipients now are doing well with their new kidneys, and they are grateful they were given a second chance at life. John had been on dialysis for three years before he received his new kidney, yet he still initially was hesitant to allow Joyce to donate a kidney for him because she is a single parent. "Now I know that this was all in God's divine plan," he says. "I'm so grateful for Joyce."
Tami is glad the paired kidney exchange was an option for her. "Who knows how long I would have waited?" she says. "It gave us so many more options."