EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — It’s a bond that will tie two siblings together forever. One El Paso man in need of a kidney given a second chance at life by his younger sister.
After undergoing surgery at Las Palmas Kidney Transplant Center, Oscar and Abigail Hernandez said they’re grateful they got the opportunity for the life-saving procedure. Both share how living organ donations can make all the difference.
“It’s made me more determined because it’s my sister’s kidney and I should cherish it, and protect it just like I protect her,” Oscar shared.
Oscar has been fighting for his life since he was 2 years old. After experiencing 10 years of dialysis, multiple biopsies, and surgeries, Oscar received a kidney from a deceased donor when he was 16.
However, he ended up losing it after a few years, “At that age I was 16, 17, 18 years old. I didn’t take the medications the way I was supposed to and I ended up losing the kidney.”
“Unfortunately, especially in younger people that don’t take the medications the way they are supposed to, if you don’t take the medications your body can reject the kidney,” Dr. Fernando Raudales, Transplant Nephrologist at Las Palmas Medical Center shared.
Oscar’s younger sister Abigail said she secretly got tested when she turned 21, and found out she was a match. Doctors said the match was a miracle.
“Normally, the living donor’s kidney’s only last about twenty years, but if that’s all that this kidney gives me, I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make my sister proud,” Oscar said.
“It’s really meant everything to me and I just feel super blessed that God chose me to give my kidney to my brother and I just feel so grateful that I was the one able to give him life and a second chance. I’m just so excited for him to live his life and see his girls grow up,” Abigail added.
Both brother and sister got the surgery in August. Due to COVID-19, they weren’t allowed to see each other after the surgery however, had other ways.
“After the surgery he did facetime me, and he was like ‘How are you feeling?’ and I was like ‘Dude I feel so bad and tired’. He said ‘Really? I feel good!’,” Abigail shared.
Oscar currently works as a dialysis technician. He said his ultimate goal is to become a state trooper just like his dad.
For now, he keeps encouraging and giving advice to his patients, “I figured I would go into that field so that I can not only educate myself, learn, and teach myself how to live with my illness, but to teach others. Making sure that other patients wouldn’t go through what I did.”
Both siblings encourage others to consider being a living organ donor to help save more lives.
For more information on becoming a living donor, click here.