Doctors at UC San Diego Medical Center led Stephanie Stuart’s mother to an operating room on April 19, 2000. Stuart remembers the fear she felt as she watched her mother go.
“What are we doing here?” she asked her father, Havasu resident Gerry Tieri.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Tieri replied. “She’s doing this for you.”
Stephanie Stuart was diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome, caused by contact with the E. coli bacteria when she was 18 months old. It’s a condition that causes the premature destruction of red blood cells, which clog the filtering system in human kidneys and may ultimately cause complete kidney failure. Stuart’s mother, Joyce Tieri, donated one of her own kidneys to save her daughter’s life.
Stuart’s condition was one that she shared with her brother, Tom Tieri. Tom never developed significant kidney damage, and has never required a transplant. Stuart, however, wasn’t so lucky.
From infancy, doctors predicted a 50-75 percent chance that she would eventually lose function in both of her kidneys. Continue reading
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