CHICAGO, Dec. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When 27-year-old Nina Sanchez was 13 weeks pregnant, doctors gave her the devastating news that she had kidney failure. At a time when most mothers are eagerly awaiting the journey of pregnancy, Sanchez was grappling with a distressing diagnosis. Her new priority was now, not only her own health, but keeping her baby alive and healthy. During her seventh month of pregnancy, she went on dialysis. Shortly thereafter, she delivered a, thankfully, healthy baby girl, although six weeks early.
Now that her daughter had safely arrived, it opened the realm of therapeutic options for Sanchez. Her team of transplant specialists at Northwestern Medicine® determined she would need a kidney transplant or face dialysis for the rest of her life. The search for a living-donor match began. Sanchez's brother, Sam Vega, was tested and found to be an incompatible donor. Just when it seemed she would never get the transplant she so desperately needed, Sanchez received a call fromNorthwestern's transplant program with news that a match had been identified through what's known as a paired exchange transplant, which matches one incompatible donor-recipient pair to another enabling an organ exchange.
"When my doctor told me he found a kidney for me, I was so relieved," said Sanchez. "I was scared that I wasn't going to be around to raise my daughter."