Alabama native information station WIAT studies that Verna Johnson, who carried out a 5 month marketing campaign of billboard commercials in Birmingham and Montgomery to discover a kidney donor, has succeeded.
Johnson was recognized with kidney illness in 2017. Her organs continued to lose perform, requiring her to be positioned on dialysis for so long as eight hours a day. By July of 2019, she had simply 6 p.c kidney perform, and the one doable treatment was an organ transplant.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, a brand new affected person is added to the ready checklist for a kidney transplant each 14 minutes. That checklist now stretches over 100,000 folks lengthy. Alabama has the longest wait time within the United States, with the Alabama Kidney Foundation reporting over 1,300 sufferers in want.
Johnson’s sister Marcella was additionally on that checklist, and waited 11 years with out getting a donated kidney. She handed away in 2015. When Verna Johnson was recognized two years later, docs informed her it may very well be 5 to 10 years for her to get a match.
Verna Johnson knew that she wasn’t going to discover a kidney donor by atypical means. So she contracted with a neighborhood digital promoting firm to run daring, brilliant adverts with an image of herself captioned with “Verna Needs A Kidney” and the cellphone quantity for the UAB Medical Center.
She additionally had T-shirts and automobile magnets printed up to attract consideration to her plight.
Jefferson County Health Department credit score union teller Jaime Burchfield reached out to the medical middle after seeing one of many billboards. She had the required matching blood sort and had seen a narrative about Verna shared to her church’s Facebook web page.
“I saw the Facebook post once and then I thought, ‘I don’t really know.’ Like, ‘Why would they want my kidney?'” Burchfield informed the Montgomery Advertiser. “Then I saw it again and then I was like, ‘OK God, I hear you. You’re telling me again you want me to do this’.”
Johnson posted her assembly with Burchfield on Facebook, because the docs launched the 2 for the primary time.
Surgery is scheduled for the top of October. Johnson will probably be hospitalized for 3 weeks following the transplant, however the former therapist is already considering of resuming her profession as soon as she’s recovered.
“This has given me a sense of power, a sense of wanting to help others and encourage them,” Johnson informed WIAT. “I want to be a voice for others and continue working on their behalf.”
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