Daughter 'my hero,' mom says of kidney transplant

EL PASO TIMES | Victor R Martinez
Isabel Aguirre, right, donated a kidney to her mother, Sally Ortega, 12 years ago. She was inspired to change her major at the University of Texas at El Paso to nursing and is now clinical coordinator for living donors at the Las Palmas Kidney Transplant Center.(Photo: RUDY GUTIERREZ/EL PASO TIMES)
Sally Ortega was in acute renal failure and in desperate need of a kidney. Her daughter didn't hesitate to donate: 'Mom, you carried me in your body for nine months; now you're going to carry a part of me for the rest of your life.' Wochit

Isabel Aguirre donated a kidney to her best friend, Sally Ortega, and saved her life.

Ortega also happens to be Aguirre's mother.

"Because of my daughter, I'm here," Ortega said. "Otherwise I would not. I was so sick, I couldn't do anything. She told me, 'Mom, you carried me in your body for nine months; now you're going to carry a part of me for the rest of your life.' "

In 2000, while living in Boston, Ortega went into acute renal failure when her kidneys were no longer able to filter waste products from her blood.

Kidney failure can be fatal and after five years of dialysis and waiting for a donor match, Ortega's future seemed bleak.

"I felt so sad," Ortega said. "I felt like my last days where going to be on dialysis. I asked the doctor if I could die on dialysis. He was very honest. He said I could die of heart failure because the heart can't take dialysis for a long time. Five years is pretty much the maximum before you start having problems with your heart." Continue reading
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