By Jessica Easthope
“This is NYU Kidney Transplant, I’m calling this morning to say we have a kidney for you.”
It was the call Debra Molloy was waiting for and she missed it, but now she forever has a memory of the moment her life changed.
“My emotions were running the gamut, I was going from disbelief to crying to calling people who were then shocked and rushing around because I was trying to pack a bag, I didn’t have anything ready,” she said.
Debra’s recovering from transplant surgery. She got the call that NYU Langone had a kidney for her and was in a hospital gown less than three hours later. Most people are on the list for three to five years, Debra was on it for five months.
“People who knew the story were praying, it’s amazing how prayer works and I know it works,” she said.
Last year when Debra found her kidney disorder would require a transplant, she turned to Christine Whalen, her former first grade student at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Academy and now great friend.
The two got to work, creating a social media campaign for Debra, their shared mission brought them closer and though Debra’s kidney came to her in a different way – they raised awareness.
“I cannot thank her enough, I’m very grateful to her, she got the word out and no one helped me that way but maybe somebody will help someone else that way, that brings awareness,” said Debra.
“The work that we’ve done to get the word out and let people know about this and hopefully help other people has been equally rewarding,” Christine said.
Debra now has three kidneys in her body, the two she was born with and one from a stranger, an Ohio man 15 years younger than her who died of respiratory failure.
“I have a foreign body in me but that foreign body is helping me live and giving me a second chance on life, that person’s life was cut short but it made my quality of life that much better because of their selfless act, he saved my life,” she said.
It’s been seven weeks since Debra’s surgery, she’s still on a cocktail of medications but she’s healthy and feels better than ever and says currents news played a part in her unbelievable journey.
“We were on the Currents broadcast last time on November 1st exactly a month before this and the first thought we had was it’s a Christmas miracle, what are the chances of this happening,” Christine said. “We’re already starting to make our list of things we have to do, simple things at first like taking a walk but then we’re going to ski and again and go to a spa because she can, she can.”
Debra can’t find out for a year who her donor was but when she can she plans to contact his family to say thank you.