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After Two Years, Young Kidney Disease Patient Gets Transplant

There’s not enough good news out there these days, especially in the healthcare industry, but this story coming out of Houston County Georgia in the United States of America is a real gem. After battling stage five kidney disease for over two years, a young Annabelle Whitaker is set to receive a kidney transplant very soon.

The young girl was diagnosed with the illness in January 2018 and learned she would need a kidney transplant. After close to six months, doctors were able to finally place Annabelle on the transplant list, while the community in Central Georgia rallied around her and her family, offering support and much-needed fundraisers.

With the added encouragement and support, the road to a kidney transplant still took a toll on Annabelle.

Over the past two years, Whitaker has had multiple transfusions and surgeries and has attended nightly dialysis treatments. Her mom Heather stated that the over-two-year transplant journey that Annabelle has been on would not have been possible without the support of her Central Georgia community. According to Heather, Annabelle has received phone calls, video messages, and calls of support – all that has meant a lot to her, and have kept her going. 

After a long-anticipated wait, Annabelle and the Whitaker family discovered that she was officially matched up with donor this past May 22nd, in the form of Natalie Nuce. The family met Nuce while in Ohio to pick up Annabelle’s service dog, back in 2009. They bonded over Georgia Bulldogs, became friends, and have remained close since. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Annabelle’s father accompanied her to the town of Emory for her kidney transplant, which is taking place July 16th, and he will be the only family member that is allowed to be with her at the hospital during this time. It’s unfortunate, but the good news is that she will be getting a transplant, something she and her family have been waiting for, for a long while now.

Annabelle is still being supported by her incredible Central Georgian extended family via video messages sending love, thoughts, and well wishes around a recovery.