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Kidney patient talks about the reality of waiting for a donor kidney

Posted at 4:56 PM, Sep 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-02 19:56:02-04

CHANDLER, AZ — For the second time in her life, 40 year-old Sejal Patel is waiting for a donated kidney.

"My life changed like I was able to do a lot more and a lot more active my face color changed I just felt like a new person," says Patel about her life after her first transplant.

That was back in 2009, when the transplanted kidney was working 100%, now it's functioning at only 14%. Sejal needs another kidney.

"I've been lucky enough not to be on dialysis yet," she adds.

In March of this year, Sejal joined the national kidney donor waiting list of more than 94,000 Americans.

"Yeah, it is a little overwhelming that there's so many people waiting and not that many people are getting transplanted as fast as they wanna be. There's a chance that a person may die just waiting because the list is so long and that is kind of scary," she says.

Patel is not only a patient, but she's also a researcher at the Mayo Clinic, the transplant clinic where she was placed on the list this time and back in 2009.

Recently, a study by the Journal of American Medical Association found that each year, approximately 3500 kidneys are discarded, never making the life-saving trajectory to patients like Patel.

"I feel like if they could use them they should use them," adds Patel.

Last time she waited for about 1 year before a donated kidney was a match; she's hoping this second time, the wait won't be too long.

"One year could mean tons of new things for you and special memories so I think it's definitely worth it," she says.