In Need of Kidney Transplant: Young Mother Searches for Lifesaving Donation

Middlebury resident Demitria Kirby is in urgent need of a kidney transplant after suffering birth complications that severely damaged her kidneys. Kirby gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Cecilia but experienced complications four hours later, leading to a diagnosis of HELLP syndrome, a rare and life-threatening pregnancy complication. Further testing revealed that Kirby also has Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS), a genetic disease that can lead to kidney failure. Kirby has been on dialysis since July and is now classified as having End-Stage Renal Disease. She has been accepted onto the transplant program at the UVM Medical Center but faces a lengthy wait of five to seven years unless a suitable kidney donor comes forward. Kirby is advocating for increased awareness and education around pregnancy complications like HELLP syndrome to help prevent similar incidents in the future.

Kirby’s experience with birth complications came as a surprise, as she had a healthy pregnancy with her first child and had no history of severe health issues. She noticed swelling and vision problems during the last month of her recent pregnancy but was not initially concerned. Kirby wishes there was more guidance available for pregnant women regarding signs and symptoms of HELLP syndrome and similar conditions. As she waits for a kidney donor, Kirby is working to join the kidney transplant program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and has created a website through the National Kidney Foundation to facilitate potential donors’ screening process. Throughout her challenging journey, Kirby is grateful for the support she has received from her family, friends, and employer. She hopes to use her experience as a platform to raise awareness about maternal health and the importance of recognizing and addressing pregnancy complications.

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