I was born on the 4th of July in 1997. When I was 14 months old, I had bacterial meningitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). As a result of the meningitis I lost my hearing, and the HUS damaged my kidneys. After being on dialysis at home for months, my kidney function improved. I also received a cochlear implant to restore my hearing when I was two years old. My family rallied to teach me to hear again and to talk. With their help, I learned to read, write and talk above my grade level! Years later, a few days after my 12th birthday, I collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. My kidneys had completely failed. I had to receive emergency hemo-dialysis, and then was once again on home dialysis. When my family heard that I needed a kidney transplant, they wanted to help give me the gift of life. My parents had always wished they could help me in life. For example, if they could have donated their ability to hear to me, they certainly would have. This was actually an opportunity for them to step in and save my life by donating a kidney, since each person needs only one kidney to live a normal, healthy life. Both of my parents were tested to see if either would be a match for me. When my mom heard that she was a match and could donate her kidney to me, she was relieved and happy to be able to help. Every day, I am thankful for my new kidney, my health, and my mom—she is my hero!
– Andy Hall. Kidney Transplant Recipient