Even at her sickest, Juana Hernandez believed in helping her family and community. With her donor's kidney, she has much more energy to continue serving those around her.
Annie has a lot of reasons to love her full and amazing life -- a wonderful family, a deep love for animals, and lots of travels. Her kidney donor makes it possible to continue her adventures.
A full-time working professional who has owned her own business with her husband of 30 years, Annie loves to travel and has been fortunate enough to enjoy an African safari, deep-sea fishing in Mexico, and a beautiful tour of Europe. But in January of 2018, Annie suddenly gained 37 pounds of water weight over only 10 days. Concerned, she visited her doctor who immediately admitted her to the hospital and performed a kidney biopsy. Annie was told both of her kidneys were functioning at less than 10% and she started dialysis the very next morning. Her life as she knew it changed almost instantly, and she began facing dialysis three days a week for four-hour sessions. This time-consuming process left her very tired, even making it hard to find the energy to go to work on dialysis days. But she chose to be positive and hope for the best as she waited for a donor.
On Saturday, June 1, 2019, Annie was preparing supper when her cell phone rang. It was OHSU, calling to ask her to come prepare for surgery -- a kidney had been found for her. Annie was admitted that night and the next afternoon, she received the gift of life.
Annie is so pleased to have the energy to run her business with her husband, Mike, pictured above with her in Paris. Intead of long dialysis treatments, she can spend more time with her family and dogs, as well as travel (pictured here with her stepdaughter, Katelyn, in the Swiss Alps).
“While I have been aware of organ donation, and I am listed as a donor on my driver's license, no one could describe to me what it means to be on the ’other side‘ as the person needing the donation. I've learned the sad reality there are far more people needing a kidney than there are kidneys available. To anyone who might be considering a kidney donation; thank you from all of us dealing with kidney disease or failure. You give us hope.”