Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center has put its 100th kidney transplant in the books.
Jennifer Jennings, from Madison Township, is 30-years-old and the mother of two girls. She's had kidney problems since she was 12. For the last 6 years, dialysis has been a way of life.
"My worst day was not being able to do anything. It does take a toll on you," Jennifer admitted.
She was on a national transplant list, but wouldn't get her hopes up. She'd been a "back-up" recipient for kidneys in the past, and didn't receive the organ in the end. But a few weeks ago- a bit out of the blue- came the phone call she wanted.
"I got out of dialysis Friday June 7th, and 5 minutes later, they called and said something had happened with the patient (ahead of me on the list). It was my turn. I was freaking out! Crying, screaming, I'm like, I can't believe this," she remembers.
Dr. Manish Gupta has been with Geisinger WV's kidney transplant program from its inception, along with the program's creator, Dr. Chintalapati Varma. Dr. Gupta says Jennifer was a back-up recipient this time too, but the patients ahead of her happened to be not the best matches. Just one hour after that phone call, her transplant surgery was ready to begin. Dr. Gupta says the hospital's proximity to people living in Northeastern Pennsylvania makes a big difference.
"She's a young healthy woman, mother of 2. dialysis is just not the way. For someone like this, a transplant is the best way to take care of them," said Dr. Gupta.
Only later did she realize she was Geisinger Wyoming Valley's lucky 100th kidney transplant. Lucky is exactly what she feels.
"I'm so psyched and happy that I can be home with the girls, so I don't have to worry about where they'll be when I'm at dialysis," said Jennifer.