Reporting Jamie Yuccas
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Many of us don’t even know our neighbors, and won’t even consider giving them a kidney.
But luckily for Shelley Peterson, Darrell Vogel, her Champlin neighbor of 23 years, isn’t your usual neighbor.
Doctors diagnosed Peterson with kidney disease 7 years ago. Her doctors told her she would eventually need a transplant, so the hunt to find a donor started with her family.
But that didn’t work out.
“I have five brothers and sisters, and none of them were a match,” Peterson said.
She then turned online. She created a website and one of her neighbors helped her with social media. In the end, Vogel offered Peterson his kidney.
“I prayed to God about it, and said, ‘It’s in Your hands. If I’m a match, I’m going forward with it, ‘” Vogel said.
Peterson is grateful for that prayer.
“He was the first one that was tested and he turned out to be the perfect match.”
The surgery happened Thursday — a few months early — because Peterson’s kidneys started failing.
Peterson calls the surgery her “Christmas miracle.”
She hopes to go home Tuesday, and Vogel will likely be able to leave the hospital in the next day or two.
While everyone only needs one kidney to survive, Peterson now has three, which is typical with these surgeries.
If Peterson’s new kidney were to fail, she’d still have her two other weak ones.