SAN ANTONIO – Easter will be a bit different for one San Antonio family after getting the good news that their daughter has been matched with a kidney she’s been waiting on for five years.
Nadia Gutierrez, diagnosed with end stage renal disease, is now 24 but she’s been facing obstacles since she was 14.
In 2015 she started her search for a kidney after her body rejected her father’s which was a 100 percent match.
“If I wasn’t working, I was on dialysis and back and forth and back and forth,” Nadia said.
Initially, she started her search by posting her request on her car, and though she got a lot of responses, several people backed out or wanted something in return.
“They would want me to give them my white BMW or they would ask for money in exchange,” Nadia said.
Five days a week with two-hour treatments a day, Nadia would go to dialysis while working a full-time job. After receiving a call Saturday night, she hopes that will all change for good.
“They were like ‘Hey, how close are you to the hospital? We think we have a pretty good match for you and we need you to be ready,’” Nadia said. “ I just started crying, and when my family asked me “What’s wrong, what’s wrong?,’ I told them I got a call about a kidney.”
Fernando Gutierrez, her father, was extremely happy about the news.
“It’s hard to see her attached to machines all the time,” Fernando said. “I was devastated when they told me she rejected my kidney. I don’t know what is about to happen now but we have seen it all and I am just happy that she will be free. It feels like a dream.”
Nadia said the one thing she is excited about doing is being able to travel without worry.
“I told my parents I want to go to Puerto Rico or New York or anywhere. I just want to travel,” Nadia said. “Before I had to worry about dialysis, and treatments and medicines where now I will only have to worry about medicine and taking care of myself.”
She said she is especially grateful for the organ donor who made her new kidney a possibility.
“I thank whoever it was,” Nadia said. “I thank him for making that decision to be a donor after life.”
Fernando agreed, saying it was because of his daughter that he changed his whole perspective on becoming an organ donor.
“This made me a believer,” Fernando said. “People don’t understand until you go through it or are faced with it up close and personal. It is very important.”
Now, like her father, Nadia is raising awareness about the importance of organ donation.
“If you go to a dialysis clinic and see all the people in there with what they are going through, you will change your mind,” Nadia said. “Why not become a donor? You can’t take your organs with you to heaven. Leave them here for someone else who might need it.”