41 ‘angels’ come forward to donate kidney to Swatara woman

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A Dauphin County woman in need of a kidney has hit another hurdle, despite dozens of abc27 viewers’ offers to become living donors.

Deb Foulkrod, 58, of Swatara Township suffers from End-Stage Renal Disease and needs dialysis several times a week. She recently learned she is not a good candidate for PinnacleHealth’s transplant list, so her family reached out to abc27 in early August in the hopes a living donor would come forward. In the days following the story, 41 people have contacted Pinnacle’s living donor coordinator to be tested.

“I was very overwhelmed,” Foulkrod said. “My whole family was. We were like ‘on ten million Mountain Dews feeling’.”

A few weeks ago, however, Foulkrod switched hospitals. Making the trip down to Baltimore to meet with surgeons at Johns Hopkins Transplant Center, she told them about all of the generous viewers.

“They couldn’t believe that there was such a list and we’re telling them that I had met with abc27 and this had gone on the air, and there were these people that had called — and they looked at us like ‘really?’,” she said.

Hopkins nurses asked Foulkrod to have Pinnacle send them donor names and numbers, but that’s when she hit yet another obstacle.

“My pre-transplant nurse from Pinnacle called me and said that I had to give that information out on my own,” she said.

A difficult task, Foulkrod said, because she doesn’t know who they are.

A spokesperson for Pinnacle told abc27 HIPAA laws prevent them from simply forwarding contact information to other hospitals, but said they will now be calling those potential donors personally to gain permission to either send test results or provide them with contact information for Johns Hopkins.

“I just want them to know that I consider them angels,” Foulkrod said. “Whenever I talk to anyone about it, I say ‘Yeah, 41 angels called. I’ve lost track now. I don’t know how I’m going to get those 41 angels back, but they’re angels. They are’.”

If you are interested to becoming a donor, contact:

The Comprehensive Transplant Center

600 North Wolfe Street, Osler 625

Baltimore, Maryland 21287

Kathleen Burke, RN MSN 410-614-5555

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