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Wednesday, January 18, 2006 8:01:04 AM
 This Morning around the Bay Stories

Daughter to Mother: Gift of Life

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By:Alexandra Hackett

Riverview, Florida - When Patty Grabowski talks about her daughter, she lights up like a Christmas tree. Not only are the two best friends, who share DNA and the same first name…

Patty Grabowski, Kidney Transplant Recipient:
"If it wasn't for her, I'd not be alive or I'd have no life. I'd be on dialysis."

Doctors aren't sure what caused Patty's kidneys to fail, possibly high blood pressure. But one thing was clear: if she didn't find a donor, her life wouldn't be the same.

Patty Hughes, Donated Kidney to Mother:
"I didn't know anything about kidney disease. I didn't know what a kidney did. As she got sicker, that's when the worry came in."

When the younger Patty found out she was a match, she didn't think twice.

"I think she grabbed me and started crying. She told me I didn't have to. It was up to me."

Within weeks, mother and daughter were in Tampa General Hospital for the kidney transplant.

"I opened up my eyes when I got in my room and there she was waiting for me and all I was worried about was her."

That was last December. A year later...

"My life is wonderful now. I had no energy. I had no gumption. I didn't want to do anything."

"People think I am humble about it. But it's my mother and I want her to have the best life she can have."

And that means sharing a good laugh, as well as a kidney.

"They put in a new knee November 11th and you know what she says to me - 'Hey Mom, cut it out I'm running out of spare parts!'"

The kidney transplant was also made possible with help from the Lifelink Health Care Institute.

Since 1973, the Lifelink transplant team has performed 3000 kidney transplants.

Alexandra Hackett, Tampa Bay's 10 News

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