By: Krystle Crossman
When someone you love is sick or hurting there is nothing that you wouldn’t do for them. One husband, PJ Spraggins from Alabama, proved this to his wife Tracy when she became ill. She had been diagnosed with Lupus when she was six years old and now her kidney was failing. She needed to go on the transplant list or her situation would have become dire. She was placed on a 7 year long waiting list in 2013. Her husband PJ happened to be a perfect match for her. He was told by doctors however that he was not eligible to donate. His blood pressure was too high to risk a major surgery like that. PJ took action immediately.
Over the next year PJ made sure that he ate a balanced diet and he worked out as much as he could. By the one year mark he had lost over 70 pounds. Tracy also lost weight with her husband and they lost a total of 145 pounds combined by December of 2014. They had another meeting with the doctor and they were given the go-ahead for the surgery. In February of 2015 PJ donated a kidney to his wife. They are both doing well.
Being on a transplant list is one of the most horrible things that a patient can go through. By the time a new organ arrives it is often too late. People can sign up to be organ donors on their licenses in certain states, other require you to register online. There are many organs (or pieces of) that you can donate while you are still living such as a kidney, a piece of your liver, part of your intestines, and even excess skin (from extreme weight loss). There are many new advances that are being researched at the moment as well. Scientists have been able to create bladders and other hollow organs in a 3D printer. A recipient of a 3D printed bladder named Luke Massella has been living with his manufactured organ for over 10 years now. He was featured in a TED talk with his surgeon, Dr. Anthony Atala. The 3D printer uses human cells to create the new organs. They are working on printing kidneys as well. Imagine the impact this technology could have on the organ donation list.