EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Millions of people register to become donors, but sometimes a donor match could be within a family.

Luis Alberto Vargas gave one of his kidneys to his little sister Luisa Fernanda Vargas after she was diagnosed with kidney failure back in January 2022.

One of the first symptoms Luisa experienced and thought little of was high blood pressure. Adding that after five years, she caught Covid-19 and when she received her lab test results, doctors also found she had low kidney function.

“They found out I had an autoimmune disease called IgA nephropathy and since it was very advanced, they told me the only way which was the only solution was getting a kidney transplant.” said Luisa Vargas.

Luckily Las Palmas Medical Center tested her family first, leading her brother to be the first in line to donate.

“The process was a lot of testing, a lot of blood work, ultrasounds, x-rays. It was pretty difficult, actually. I think the recovery I thought it was going to be less than it was. It was kind of frustrating in the beginning and then I mean I started feeling better,” her brother said.

Although Luisa’s recovery was smooth and quick, Luis says he started feeling better after two to three weeks and would do anything to have his little sister live a normal life.

“I always tell him he’s my other half. Literally, I think we are very blessed to have this relationship and we’re closer and just thank you,” Vargas’ sister said.

Las Palmas Medical Center provides Kidney Transplant services. If interested in applying, click here: Las Palmas Del So Health Care. Before becoming a potential candidate, there are requirements need to be met after meeting with a transplant team.

Here’s the following evaluation:

  • Urine samples
  • Blood work
  • Ultrasounds
  • X -rays 
  • Stress tests

According to Pennmedicine.org, 170 million people are registered to be donors and only three in one thousand people die, allowing for deceased organ donations. However, anyone can register and become a hero to someone in need of a kidney.

For more information about kidney transplants, call (915) 264-7800.

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