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Donor Story

Patricia's Living Donor Story

Patricia Baldessaro, 61 | Altoona, PA / Recipient

I knew about my kidney problems from childhood. Kidney disease runs in my family. When I was 55 and working in a warehouse, my hands just kept cramping up. That’s when the doctor told me I had stage two renal failure and needed dialysis.

My sister works for PinnacleHealth and kept pushing me to get on the transplant list. She had only good things to say about Dr. Yang and his team, and I’m glad she pushed me. They made it simple to get on the list, and everyone was just fabulous. I love all of them!

Though dialysis tired me out, I tried not to let it slow me down. I retired early from my job because of the heavy lifting, but I could walk my yellow lab, Zeus, play with my god daughters, and because I did peritoneal dialysis, I could pack everything up with me to go camping with friends and family.

I had been on the list for about three years when I got the call in March 2015 and received the gift of a transplant on my 60th birthday. I knew it would be life changing so I wasn’t concerned about the surgery. Both Dr. Yang and Dr. Narins were so wonderful and caring. They really talk to you, get to know you and want to see you do well.

Since my recovery, there’s a big difference in my energy; you don’t realize how sick you were until you get your life back again. My family is extremely thrilled for me, and we are all so thankful for this very special birthday gift.

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