Woman waiting for kidney transplant

Brother-in-law to donate organ

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Irma Mejia

— Irma Mejia, 31, is waiting for a kidney transplant that was originally scheduled to take place today at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Just two hours before leaving town yesterday she learned the donor, her brother-in-law Junior Garcia, experienced unforeseen complications and the surgery was postponed for a couple of weeks.

“She is in tears,” Mejia’s sister, Silvia Ramos said in an interview with the Daily Sun News.

Mejia, an advanced registered nurse practitioner at Mid Valley Community Clinic and two other local health care practices, has dedicated her life to helping others.

Ramos said, “She always makes time for her family, teaching faith-based education classes for her church and working three jobs in spite of her illness.”

Diagnosed two years ago with IGA Nephropathy, a disease that damages the tiny filtering units of the kidney, Mejia has not allowed the illness to slow her down.

“I admire my sister because she makes time for the things that are important to her… she doesn’t let the fact that she only has 12 percent of her kidneys keep her from doing what is important,” Ramos said.

She said Mejia’s doctors told her she couldn’t work anymore, but Mejia told them she would continue doing what she spent many years training to do… care for others.

“She’s dedicated to her patients and passionate about their care,” Ramos said.

Mejia said she is in need of prayers and support.

She is grateful to her brother-in-law for being willing to serve as a kidney donor.

It was only last month, after several family members were tested, they learned Garcia was a match.

Mejia said she had to lose about 30 lbs. to be included on the transplant list.

If for some reason, Garcia is unable to donate a kidney, Mejia said her own husband is a potential donor.

She said finding a donor was a long, agonizing process because of the strict guidelines associated with the process.

Just to determine if she was a candidate, there were bone and blood tests, as well.

“They look at social factors, physical and psychological factors,” Mejia said.

The donor is also subjected to a number of tests, a physical and meetings with surgeons, nutritionists and the transplant team.

Mejia said she will have to spend a month in the Seattle area following the transplant.

“There’s not as much required from the donor, but I have a lot of guidelines to follow,” Mejia said.

She is hopeful the transplant, now scheduled in two weeks, will be successful.



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