BALTIMORE (WJZ) — This is an extra-special Christmas for one Maryland family after a mother gives her daughter the gift of a lifetime.
Monique Griego has more.
As the rush for last-minute Christmas gifts kicks into high gear at the University of Maryland Medical Center, a priceless present has already been given to one patient.
“That’s a Christmas that I’ll never forget,” said Sacha Webster.
Sacha Webster’s journey started three years ago when doctors told her diabetes was killing her kidney.
“They were trying to save the kidney from failing but it was already too late,” Webster said.
As Webster began dialysis treatments, her mother made a pledge.
“The first thing I said to myself was ‘I am not going to let my daughter die. I am going to do whatever it takes to get help for her,'” said Webster’s mother, Marilyn Loblack.
That meant finding a donor. Webster was on a waiting list of around 100,000 people in the United States in need of a kidney transplant.
“The list is really tough. I mean, it’s uncertain,” said Dr. Rolf Barth.
Barth says it can take years to find a match. That’s when Marilyn stepped in. She came to the hospital to take a compatibility test and it wasn’t long before she got the news she’d been waiting for.
“That day I got that call that I was compatible, I cried. I felt like I won the lottery,” she said.
Thursday, their kidney swap was a success.
“She gave me a second chance at life. That’s not so often you get to give that to somebody, to be so brave to put themselves under such risky procedures,” Webster said.
Although they’re spending Christmas in the hospital, both say it’s the most special holiday they’ve ever had.
“It’s like giving her life twice and it’s something I’ll never forget,” Loblack said.
Sacha and Marilyn hope their story encourages other people to become donors.