They say when you join a sorority, you become sisters for life. Two recent K-State graduates have taken that to a whole new level, sharing a bond that will tie them together for their lives…a kidney.
Bailey Elliott found out after graduation that she’d been born with a condition that was slowly scarring her kidneys. She was put on a transplant list, but the wait for a donor could be years. Her friend and sorority sister, Emily Ewert, read about the problem on social media, and decided to find out if one of her kidneys would be a match. To her surprise, she was a match. Bailey didn’t know Emily was being tested until the night Emily knocked on Bailey’s door.
“She walks in and had a sign that says ‘No I’m not kidney-ing you, we’re a match,’ because that was the slogan for my Go-Fund Me page,” said Bailey. “I was in shock. She just came and hugged me and I started crying!”
Doctors at The University of Kansas Health System recently took one of Emily’s kidneys and transplanted it into Bailey, and Bailey is already feeling a change for the better. In the video, Dr. Sean Kumer, one of the surgeons involved in the transplant, explains how Emily has given Bailey a new chance at a long and healthy life. He says a living donor close to the same age is a huge advantage because the kidney is usually healthier and it keeps the recipient off of extended dialysis.
Also in the video, Emily Ewert, the donor, explains what prompted her to get tested and then decide to donate her kidney to Bailey. She also describes how she broke the good news to her friend and the emotional reaction.
Bailey Elliott, the recipient, describes the shock of finding out how sick she was with her kidney condition, even though she felt no symptoms. She describes the process she went through to find a donor, and the emotion she felt when her own sorority sister was a match. Also included is home video of that emotional visit with the sign, and video of both young women recovering in their hospital rooms.