Nurses are guardian angels because they have a selfless attitude and loving nature towards all their patients. Recently a nurse decided to donate her kidney to an 18-month-old boy to help save his life.
Bodie Hall, from St. Michael, Minnesota, was born with “congenital nephrotic syndrome,” a rare kidney disorder. Neither of his parents could donate their kidney to him and he needed a kidney transplant desperately. “It’s like, how do you ask somebody to donate a kidney?” Bodie’s mom Gloria Hall said.
Dad, Brandon Hall, wasn’t a match, and Gloria had already donated a kidney to Bodie’s older sister who had the same condition. “This was outside of our control,” Brandon said. He was placed on a kidney transplant list, but doctors advised them to go on social media and to spread the word to find a donor.
Act of kindness
Nurse Taylor Pikkarainen, is a friend of a friend, she said, “It’s definitely part of my calling, helping people,” she said. “Even just reading his story and seeing his picture on the Facebook page, he was the cutest thing ever.” Pikkarainen, a traveling nurse from Minnesota, was working with COVID-19 patients in New Jersey when she heard about Bodie. “I filled out the paperwork right then and there,” she recalled.
Doctors say it is hard to find a well-matched donor, but physicians at M Health Fairview concluded Pikkarainen was the best match for Bodie out of several possible kidney donors. His case was one of the first to use the technology called “epitope mapping.”
Dr. Raja Kandaswamy says it lets doctors to evaluate organs on a more minute, detailed level to determine the strength of a match between a donor and a recipient. “We get to the molecular level and look for the molecular signatures that pose risk for rejection, and if we can match at that level, that gives you a higher degree of protection from rejection.” Dr. Kandaswamy said.
The transplant happened on July 9, which was Pikkarainen’s birthday as well. “It was a different birthday, but a good one,” she said. “There’s no way to express how grateful you are for saving your kid, really,” Bodie’s mom said.
“We just told her ‘Thank you,'” his father said. “We just couldn’t believe that she was willing to do something like that for us.” She said, “We are connected in some way, but you can’t see it from the outside,” Pikkarainen said.
Bodie is taking anti-rejection medication, which will last for the rest of his life. His doctors say the in-depth matching they did on the front end will hopefully improve his odds. Let us keep Bodie, nurse Pikkarainen and their families in our prayers so that God will heal and restore their bodies completely.