After a two-year search for a second kidney transplant, Ashley Friis’ journey to find a donor is over, and she didn’t have to look very far for a match when all was said and done, as it turns out that fiancé Josh Groetken was the one (clearly, on so many levels!)
Both Groetken and Friis had thought of getting Josh tested to see if he was a potential donor match at the beginning of her donor-search journey; however, they were worried about who would take care of both their daughters if both Daddy and Mommy needed to recover from surgery. There was also the fear that Aidynn, Friis’ two-year-old biological daughter, may be diagnosed one day with the same (rare) condition her mom has, which has caused Ashley’s kidneys to fail. They wanted to keep the option of Groetken as a donor aside for their child, should she need it someday.
Bradenton reported that Friss suffers from atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, an uncommon illness where red blood cells break down, thus resulting in kidney failure. She was first diagnosed with the condition about a decade ago, when both kidneys began to fail. Two years after this, Ashley’s mother donated a kidney to her daughter. Sadly, the doctors hadn’t anticipated in 2009 that the condition would resurface, and when Friis was thinking about getting pregnant, no one thought to relay that a stressor, like pregnancy, could trigger the illness to come back.
The couple finally decided to get Groetken tested recently, in the hopes that if their daughter does develop the condition – as it is believed to have a hereditary link – advances in medicine will prevent Aidynn form needing a transplant.
Prior to the transplant, Ashley spent nine hours weekly in dialysis and received blood infusions bi-weekly.
Friss’ recovery was a bit longer than her soon-to-be husband’s. Josh had a hospital stay of one day, and went back to work within about a week; while Ashley had a three-day stay in the hospital, and had to take a month off work to recuperate.Advertisement