Jennings woman searches for donor in her third organ transplant - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Jennings woman searches for donor in her third organ transplant

JENNINGS, LA (KPLC) -

Imagine undergoing two organ transplants, just to find out you need a third. That's a reality for one Jennings woman.

"I was real healthy, I didn't have to take medicine or anything," said Sandra Sonnier, 56.

Sonnier said she didn't smoke or drink or mistreat her body in anyway, but in 2014 she start gaining weight.

"I could hardly walk anymore," Sonnier said.

She went to the doctor thinking it was a problem with varicose veins but she learned it was something else.

"I overheard the nurse saying my platelets were low," she said. "I found out that I has auto-immune cirrhosis of the liver."

Sonnier's body was attacking itself. She was immediately put on the waiting list for a new liver and in just a few months a donor liver arrived. In May 2015, Sonnier had the transplant, but there was a problem.

"There was something wrong with the valve, and they tried to repair it and it wasn't repairable," said Sonnier.

It was the last thing she wanted to hear, but doctors told Sonnier she needed another transplant.

"Another one? I just got through with one," Sonnier remembers.

Just a few days later, another liver arrived, and the surgery was a success.

"This time it worked," said Sonnier, "This one came from a 20-something-year-old girl - well, I think it's a girl - I tried to get into with a family because to me that's my family now."

Now, a year and a half later Sonnier is hoping to find another "family member."  She's searching for a kidney donor.

The trauma from her first two surgeries, caused her kidneys to fail. She has dialysis three times a week, but says it's so draining it's like living half a life.

"The day that you have dialysis, when you get home you just want to go to bed," Sonnier explains.

Sonnier says she knows she's asking for a lot - a miracle she calls it. Hoping someone willing to donate, will be a match.

Potential donors need to be in excellent health and be a blood type O or B in order donate to Sonnier. Donor tissue must also match. In order to find out if you could help Sonnier, you can call Ochsner Health System's Transplant Institute at (504) 800-6561 or send an email to kidneytransplant@ochsner.org.

The transplant coordinators will be able to provide additional information and even a testing kit to determine if you are a match. It is important that when calling or emailing, you mention you want to be tested as a donor for Sandra Sonnier.

Sonnier said she wouldn't be here if it weren't for her liver donor, and this time, she can't wait to thank the living donor who provides her another new lease on life.

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