Face of Defense: Air Guardsman Gives Sister Gift of Life

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE | Air Force 1st Lt. Larissa Lambert Louisiana National Guard
Air Force Staff Sgt. Franciscoadan Orellana, a personnel specialist with the Louisiana Air National Guard’s 159th Mission Support Group, visits his sister, Alejandra Orellana, in the hospital before their kidney transplant procedure, April 11, 2017. Courtesy photo

BELLE CHASSE, La., July 20, 2017 — Air Force Staff Sgt. Franciscoadan Orellana, a Gretna, Louisiana, resident assigned to the Louisiana Air National Guard's 159th Mission Support Group, donated one of his kidneys to his sister, Alejandra Orellana, April 11.

Alejandra’s health issues began 10 years ago when she was pregnant with her son. She suffered from eclampsia, high blood pressure and gestational diabetes, which caused her son to be born premature at 31 weeks.

Although her son was healthy, the doctors said her veins had collapsed and her organs were shutting down. During the following years she experienced further complications, including being diagnosed with stage four chronic kidney disease.

“The whole family was there for me, but mainly my brother took the role of, ‘What do you need? or What can I do for you?” she said. “He was really wonderful.”

Not wanting to continue with hemodialysis because of the stress on veins in her neck and chest, her doctor recommended peritoneal dialysis which uses the lining of the stomach as a natural filter. Ultimately, her kidney disease progressed and her case was presented to the kidney transplant board. Continue reading
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