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Odesi Junor's Brighter Tomorrow
Kidney recipient Odesi Junor was born with polycystic kidney disease, passed down from her father, who died in 2000 in part as a result of the hereditary condition. Odesi went undiagnosed until she began to have health issues.
She suffered quietly with the condition for several years, telling few friends and family members about her struggles. “I didn’t want it to define me,” she said.
But in early 2019, her health worsened and she began preparing for peritoneal dialysis, a grueling daily treatment performed at night while a patient sleeps, which would allow Odesi to work during the day but would inevitably take a toll on her body.
At that time she considered opening up about her situation, possibly seeking a living donor, but she was reluctant to ask anyone for such a gift.
And that is when an altruistic living donor, who after months of testing had just been approved for donation by the UR Medicine Transplant team, offered a kidney that was a perfect match.
“I was shocked,” Odesi said of the generous individual who she still has not met, who wished to remain anonymous even to the recipient. “I was prepared to be on dialysis for at least five years. My donor was God-sent, risking their life for a total stranger.”
The fact that robotic-assisted transplantation was being introduced at UR Medicine was another miracle, said Odesi, who as a Jehovah’s Witness cannot accept blood transfusions during surgery. The robotic technique eliminated the need for that.
Odesi now sees her future as bright and is excited to get back to her position in the operating room, and to experience life with a different perspective. “I now have a brighter and healthier tomorrow,” she said.