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A second chance at life: Local woman receives a twice replanted kidney

Posted at 11:30 PM, Apr 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-21 14:07:12-04

A local woman was given the gift of longer life - thanks to a 'regifted' kidney.

It originally belonged to a 17-year-old girl, then was donated to a man in his 20s who later died in a car accident.

After almost ten years on dialysis, 70-year-old Vertis Boyce finally received the phone call that changed her life.

On July 2017, her doctor at UCLA Medical Center said they have a regifted kidney for her, meaning she would receive a previously transplanted kidney.

"If I had any qualms about it, it was quickly dissolved or forgotten," said Vertis.

So she went to California. Dr. Jeffrey Veale performed the rare surgery.

Dr. Veale, says, "There's a lot of people on dialysis, and it's an underutilized donor pool that we need to tap into."

Each year, thousands of patients are waiting for a kidney transplant. Vertis is one of less than 50 so far who has received a re-transplanted kidney.

Vertis had the chance to meet her donor's family.

"When we met it was like love at first sight. The mother felt like I was part of her family," she said.

She promised his family she will take care of herself so a part of him will live on.

Now free from dialysis, Vertis can travel anywhere, go to family gatherings, and spend more time with her granddaughter. All thanks to a rare gift.

"I never thought I was going to be around to see her grow up. It's a possibility. I will be around now," said Vertis. "It's a blessing. I have a second chance at life at 70 years old."