Teen celebrates 5 years since kidney transplant with donor - WNEM TV 5

Teen celebrates 5 years since kidney transplant with donor

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Five years ago, a stranger became a hero to a local young girl in desperate need of a kidney.

"I was fading. I didn't have energy and it sucked. It felt like I was dying because I was," said Jessica Schwerin.

She was 10-years-old and needed a new kidney. Her family couldn't donate and finding one that would work seemed impossible.

"More than a million to one match," Jessica said.

That is until Brian Martindale came into her life.

"He's one of the most kind-hearted, giving people I know. And I love him, I guess. How can I not? He gave me a part of him and he saved me," Jessica said.

It was five years ago they entered surgery together. On Thursday, they celebrated Jessica's health.

"It's a sign that she's got a future, barring anything catastrophic happening. She could keep her kidney longer than I'm alive," Martindale said.

Jessica said Martindale gave her her life back.

They want to share their story and hope to inspire others to save lives.

"Gives me chills, all those people that are on dialysis because that's a scary situation," said Stacey Schwerin, Jessica's mother.

Martindale only lived a couple blocks from Jessica when she needed help.

"You just don't know that donor could be the person you just spoke to," Martindale said.

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