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Laclede Co woman uses social media to search for kidney donor; raising awareness

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 10:04 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A Laclede County woman is using social media to increase organ donation awareness.

Chrissy St. Martin had her first kidney transplant at the age of 4.

“Nobody knows when their time is. You have no idea,” she said.

St. Martin says she tries to live her life like everyone else.

“I set goals. Usually I do that for myself and keep looking forward,” she explained.

A childhood illness required a kidney transplant. Now, after a series of transplants and treatments, the 36 year-old learned she needs another one.

But first, she says, her body needs to fight off an infection.

“I was in the hospital two and a half weeks. I woke up on a breathing tube. I bled out severely during surgery and I quit breathing,” she says.

She’s unable to continue dialysis long-term.

Her friends, family and community are working together to bring about kidney donor awareness.

Kris Jackson, a local race car driver, is using his profession to help her.

“They jumped into action as soon as I got home and found out how really, really, critical this had become,” explained St. Martin.

Meanwhile, she’s working with a relatively new way to clean her blood, thanks to her local nurse.

“She had heard that they were doing nocturnal in other places, states, things like that. But nobody had trained and done it yet in our area. She said you would be perfect for this,” explained St. Martin.

She hooks up to a machine while she sleeps.

“This is the dialysis machine. I have to do this every other night,” she said.

The machine works like a human kidney and flushes her her blood of fluid and toxins then returns it to her body.

It’s a temporary fix. She’s working with the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to find a donor through the clinic’s paired donor program.

“It gets people kidneys so much faster. It’s an amazing program. Even if you’re not my blood type, even if you’re not a match to me, then you can opt, and that’s purely up to you, say yes, I’ll get tested and worked up to be on the paired donor program,” said St. Martin.

She’s hoping, soon, that she and many others like her will find their match.

“For that person, you can’t put into words what it means,” she said.

For information on the Mayo Clinic’s paired donor program click here.

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