Donated kidney saves sister's life
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 1:00 AM
Every day is a special day for Juawarkita Edwards and her sister Joanne Williams. This month marks the fourth month since a surgeries saved Edwards life.
After the birth of her son in 1996, Edwards was diagnosed with high blood pressure and was prescribed medicine to curve this problem.
Though she took this medicine for many years, in 2011, Edwards was told by a doctor that her kidneys were failing and she would be on dialysis for the rest of her life.
She started dialysis in 2012. After spending several nights at Rush Hospital for pain, Edwards visited several hospitals and was added to the kidney donor lists in Mississippi and Alabama.
Family and friends were tested to see if they were a match for Edwards, but because of the strict health requirements, many were turned down.
Despite this, though, Edwards' sister, Joanne Williams, tested positive as a match.
"I'm glad I was able to donate my kidney. I have no regrets," said Williams
On March 23, 2013, Williams donated her kidney to save her sister's life. While Williams was in the hospital, UAB flew their flags at half-staff to honor her courage and gift of life.
The sisters recovered in side-by-side rooms for approximately four days.
Edwards is now an advocate for blood pressure maintenance and advises anyone that she comes in contact with to take their medicine.
She wants to help prevent others from going through the things that she had to endure. She also prides herself in encouraging others to take care of themselves and to monitor their diet and exercise frequently.
Williams now encourages others to give the gift of life. She has now become an advocate for organ donation and has volunteered to reach out to others considering organ donation.
"I felt like this was my mission from God for me to be healthy so I could donate to my sister," said Williams.
The sisters said the outreach from the community has been great and, due to outpouring support, an account has been set-up at Cadence Bank for those who want to donate to their cause.
To donate to their cause, ask for the "Kidney Sisters'" account at Cadence Bank.