Nurse Jonetta's Kidney Donation Story

Mar 25, 2019

James and JonettaJames Irby suffered from chronic kidney disease, which caused him to drastically change his lifestyle. He stopped eating most red meat, carbohydrates, and sodium. Over time, chronic kidney disease could lead to kidney failure. As of 2016, there were 100,791 people in the United States on the waiting list for a kidney transplant and studies show that someone in the US is added to the kidney waiting list every 14 minutes. Due of the high need of kidney transplants, the average wait time can be 3 to 5 years, and varies depending on the health, compatibility and availability of organs. James was so excited to find out he was paired with a kidney donor, he sent a message to all of his siblings and headed to the transplant center. Unfortunately, the organ was not viable, so he remained on the transplant list.

James’s little sister, Jonetta Green, has been a nurse at Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville, SC since January 2014. Her compassion is demonstrated through the care she provides her patients and the strong devotion she has for her family. One morning while getting ready for work, Jonetta had an “epiphany” that led her to make some critical calls. She asked James if he would accept her kidney and his answer was a resounding “YES!”

“There was never a doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t be a match for him,” said Jonetta. “I had faith that everything would work out the way it should. I was so relieved that I could give him the gift of a better quality and longer life.” The transplant surgery took place on December 12, 2018.

The transplant was a success! Despite a lengthy recovery, Jonetta expressed gratitude for the help and support she received while recovering. Thus far, her “rock star” brother James is doing amazing! Jonetta encourages other to consider being a donor. “Though the donor selection process can be long and tedious, the wait is to ensure the recipient’s health and the fulfillment from saving someone’s life make it all worth the wait.”

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