Life-Saving Kidney Transplant Successfully Performed Between East Texas Woman And Cousin

Tyler native, Kari Bonner, is preparing for life-changing surgery as she battles kidney failure caused by a rare autoimmune disease. In November 2022, Bonner received the devastating diagnosis and began chemotherapy treatments while adding her name to multiple hospital lists to find a donor. However, the wait for an organ transplant can be long, with over 103,000 people in the US and over 10,000 in Texas waiting for a lifesaving transplant, according to Emma Lunceford, of the Southwest Transplant Alliance. Thankfully for Bonner, her cousin Christa Skipper of Georgia stepped forward and proved to be a match for organ donation. The successful transplant is expected to immediately improve Bonner’s quality of life, as live organ donations have a higher success rate and fewer complications.

This touching story is a reminder of the importance of organ donation and the impact it can have on someone’s life. Bonner and Skipper’s close bond as cousins made the decision to donate even more meaningful. Both underwent multiple screenings to ensure the success of the transplant, and their surgery took place at the UT Southwestern Medical Center. Bonner expressed her gratitude for her cousin’s selfless act, while Skipper stated that she wanted to live a life of service and sacrifice to help others. Throughout Bonner’s journey, her family and friends have shown unwavering support, wearing green bracelets with the words “There will be miracles.” As they face this transformative surgery, Bonner and Skipper serve as an inspiring example of the power of family, love, and generosity.

To learn more about becoming an organ donor and potentially changing someone’s life, visit the Southwest Transplant Alliance website.

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