By TRINA RUNNER
News & Journal Staff Writer
In the midst of so much devastating news around the world, Julia Jackson offers a ray of sunshine as she shares her experience of an answered prayer. In March, Jackson received the news that she was in acute kidney failure. After losing one kidney 23 years ago, her situation was desperate and the community pulled together in support, prayer and fundraisers as she was put on the transplant wait list in mid-March.
With the help of her family, namely her twin sister Janet Jackson, she was able to undergo dialysis treatment over the last few months as she awaited a donor kidney. The costs, both financially and physically, were exhausting and were taking a toll on the family. After almost giving up the process, Jackson received a phone call in the middle of the night in June that gave her a new lease on life.
“They called me just after midnight and told me they had a perfect match. They did 111 tests and all of them were positive for a match,” Jackson said.
She immediately went to Pittsburgh where she underwent the transplant surgery at UPMC, where they perform over 4,000 kidney transplants annually.
“We found out our donor was a 40 year old deceased person who wished to remain anonymous. The other kidney was used to save an additional life,” said Jackson, who is so grateful the person was a registered donor and able to help so many families.
After the surgery, she stayed in the hospital three days before moving to a family house for two weeks where she underwent critical care outpatient treatment. She had two small setbacks after having allergic reactions to some pain medicine and she will be on anti-rejection medication for the rest of her life.
Currently, she is back home but must travel to UPMC in Pittsburgh two times a week for several months for lab work.
“While we are so very grateful for all the blessings and support, we are still in need of financial assistance to help with the long-term expenses of travel and care, “she said. “We are in dire need of a reliable car for the trips back and forth weekly and would appreciate any donations toward a vehicle and expenses associated with the process.”
Jackson must also maintain a bacteria-free zone for the next 60 days, which includes only distilled water, no fresh fruit, and decontamination of everything around her.
“God has truly blessed me with this kidney and I wanted to share the good news to let people know that even though there’s a lot of bad news out there, this story ended perfectly. I hope it gives people some happiness to hear about it,” Jackson said.
Any donations can be made to Jullian J. Jackson’s account at Huntington Bank in Clarksburg, notifying the bank personnel that it is for Julia’s surgery. Anyone wishing to see Jackson’s full story and to find out more about organ donation can contact her sister Janet Jackson’s Facebook page.