Local woman finds kidney donor thanks to social media

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — A local woman in need of a kidney found a donor using Facebook.

Sandi Brandt was diagnosed with a kidney disease called Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis. Doctors said she would need a donor.

“If I choose the live donor route it goes much quicker. If I stay on the transplant list, it could be anywhere from five to ten years,” Brandt explained.

To avoid the long wait Brandt’s daughter Dallas decided to take action and create a facebook page hoping to find a match.

“Baylor Transplant Clinic did not tell me how many people called in, but all they said was as they told my donor and a couple of others is that I had so many people call in they had never seen that,” Brandt said.

A match was made by an acquaintance who no longer lives in the High Plains area who saw the page.

“I read it I just felt like this was something God was calling me to do. I read it and knew that I was going to go get tested,” Rhonda Schmidt, stated.

The extensive donor process started around December 2018.

“She started going through the process, you know, and sending me messages and pictures saying ‘here I am. its labwork day.'” Brandt said.

Doctors confirmed that Rhonda was a perfect match and in just a few months it was time for surgery.

“At first it was Sandi’s kidney journey and then after we found out the donor was Rhonda I changed it to Sandi and Rhonda,” Dallas Brandt, said.

Sandi and Rhonda’s surgery was documented and shared in the Facebook group originally created to find a kidney.

“Every 30 or 45 minutes the day of surgery another post of what was going on,” Dallas stated.

After surgery, both have recovered and are now trying to encourage others to be donors for those who need it.

The social media page that originally started for Brandt is now being used by others in need of a donor.

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