Kidney recipient from Central Mexico still thriving after 34 years, thanks to her donor brother and Loma Linda University Medical Center

Angelica Rincon Carrillo, right, not only lived to see her daughter grow up but is now also a happy grandmother to grandson Juan Eduardo. Angelica’s brother Pepe, also pictured with Juan Eduardo, donated one of his kidneys to Angelica.
“Mami, don’t die, please. I am going to be a doctor, and I will get you well,” begged 4-year-old Angelica to her mother and namesake, Angelica Rincon Carrillo of Zacatecas, Mexico.

Mother lived, and daughter fulfilled her promise. But a long life didn’t seem certain to Rincon Carrillo and her family when this young mother traveled to Loma Linda, California, in March 1983 to undergo a kidney transplant.

At her first appointment at Loma Linda University Health, then-32-year-old Rincon Carrillo learned her blood creatinine level was so high that she needed immediate dialysis. Doctors planned to perform her transplant in May 1983, but complications delayed the surgery until Sept. 3.

Within three to four days, Rincon Carrillo’s immune system began to reject the organ.

Was her twin brother’s gift of one of his kidneys in vain? Had he, Jose Antonio Rincon Valdes, resigned from his job and undergone major surgery with a three-month recovery period only for an outcome of heartbreak? Continue reading