One rare and exceptional deed is worth far more than a thousand commonplace ones. – St. Ignatius
A viral Facebook post changed two nurses’ lives forever.
For Cathy Woodard, it was a hopeful wish for a life off dialysis.
For Tina Scott, it was a chance to offer a life-giving gift.
Woodard, who had stage 3 chronic kidney disease, shared her plea for help finding a live donor on Facebook. Her story was shared more than 600 times. “Somewhere, someone will hear your story, whether it's local, or broader through this state, or a couple of states away,” she said.
Scott recognized the photo of the woman in the post.
The two women, who both work at Franciscan Health Lafayette East, hadn’t known each other well prior to the transplant. But Scott, a registered organ donor, decided to be confidentially screened to see if she could be a match.
The two underwent a kidney transplant in February 2019 in Indianapolis.
“I donated on Friday, went home on Saturday, and then did my recovery and went back to work,” said Scott, a member of the resource float team at Franciscan Health Lafayette East. “I can't tell the difference. I wouldn't even know I had done it unless you stop and think about, or people say something. If you've at least spent time considering it, get tested. But I never had any doubts from the beginning.”
Fast-forward one year, Woodard is back to her regular activities.
“I'm back to work, I'm living a normal life, and I don't have to have dialysis anymore, so I'm just so grateful for that,” said Woodard, who works in the cardiac rehab unit. “I have the energy to run again, which is great because I haven't been able to do it for a while. Then last year, I had to sit out on my mission trip that I go on usually. So this year, I'm actually returning to Ghana, so I'm super excited about that.”
Though the two have a forever bond, they are planning another milestone: Completing the Indy Women’s Half Marathon together in September.
Original blog published March 2019:
Ultimate Gift: Franciscan Health Nurse Donates Kidney To Fellow Nurse In Need
LAFAYETTE, Indiana - Cathy Woodard was 28 and healthy – so she was more than surprised when blood work revealed she had stage 3 chronic kidney disease. Discovered through a routine blood draw at her doctor's office, she outwardly showed no symptoms of the disease. Woodard originally thought "the results must be a mistake." After rerunning the test, a nephrologist told her she could live years at this stage of the disease, but that eventually, she would need a kidney transplant.
Fast forward four years to the fall of 2018. Woodard was working three days a week as a nurse at Franciscan Health Lafayette East and undergoing home dialysis when she was notified that she would be placed on the transplant list for a new kidney. Her doctor told her it could take three or more years to receive a kidney from a deceased donor. She was encouraged to share her story with hopes of finding a live donor.
First she put her story out on Facebook for friends and family, and then a few weeks later, she shared her story again on the Town of Dayton Facebook page. Her post was shared more than 600 times.
Enter Tina Scott, also a nurse at Franciscan Health Lafayette East. Scott saw the Facebook post through a friend who had shared it, and clicked on the story to learn more. "I didn't recognize her at first," said Scott. "Then I looked at her picture and realized I knew her from work." Scott, a registered organ donor on her driver's license for years, decided she should call the number and be confidentially screened to see if she was in fact a match for Woodard. As a nurse, Scott has witnessed firsthand the health issues and pain caused by kidney disease and wanted to help.
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As the screening process progressed Scott reached out to Woodard to let her know she was being tested and hoped to, in fact, donate her kidney. This experience has connected these two nurses in a way they never imagined and created a lifelong bond.
The kidney transplant surgery was performed on Friday, February 22, 2019, in Indianapolis. Both women are recovering well and happy to be home. Woodard is looking forward to getting back to the things she enjoyed before she became sick – like running and going on her annual mission trip to West Africa. She missed the trip this year due to surgery, but looks forward to attending next year.
As for Scott, a married mother of two, when she was asked why she decided to donate her kidney, she said "you are improving or saving someone's life!"