PITTSBURGH - After years of dialysis, a Slippery Rock University student thought there just wasn't anyone who could donate a kidney to her, but that recently changed thanks to the generosity of her mother’s co-worker.
“I honestly feel that Miss Joyce was an angel,” Bria Akran told Channel 11’s Courtney Brennan.
Akran, 22, had desperately needed a kidney transplant.
“I asked anyone and everyone to donate. I even reached out to my paternal side of the family and a lot of people weren't as willing as I wanted them to be," she said.
Akran’s mother couldn’t donate because she was sick, and her sister was too young.
“It depressed me. It really did,” she said.
Akran’s mother shared her struggle with a co-worker, Joyce Arnold. And one day last fall, Arnold said, “What if I get tested?”
Arnold was a match.
“I just couldn’t believe she would do that for me. I was just really amazed. I’m sorry. I’m getting emotional because I don’t believe people do that anymore,” Akran said.
Last week, Arnold gave Akran her kidney.
“It didn’t hurt me at all. Of course, the pain, but it’s going to heal. I’m not wearing a bikini anymore, so I’m not worried about the scars,” Arnold said.
Both women are healing and happy, and they hope their story encourages others to become donors.
“God forbid it would happen to me, but hopefully someone would step up and pay it forward,” said Arnold.