SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Monday kicked-off the beginning of National Kidney Month. The month is a good reminder of the importance of kidney health and of the need many have for a donor.
For one Savannah woman, this time hits particularly close to home.
Tatyana Yani-Tyrell suffers from polycystic kidney disease, a genetic disorder that attacks the kidneys. She’s been looking for a live kidney donor for over three years now.
During the pandemic Tatyana’s long-time journey with the disease worsened.
“I was in stage four and months ago I get corona and it kills my kidney completely,” said Tatyana.
After getting sick, Tatyana’s kidney disease progressed.
“She is at stage 5, that’s the max of five stages,” said her husband, local radio DJ, Ray Williams.
If Tatyana isn’t able to find a donor soon, she will have to start dialysis. Finding a match hasn’t been easy.
“We’ve been actively looking for the past three and a half years to find a living kidney donor,” Williams said.
Tatyana’s Physician, Kidney Specialist, Dr. Nizar Eskandar said the pandemic has made finding donors even more challenging.
“During the covid-19 pandemic, the rate and the availability of kidneys for transplantation become less than before,” said Dr. Eskandar.
Still, Tatyana and her family aren’t losing hope.
“I have two grandkids and have a lot of plans and I wish I can find someone to save my life.”
Dr. Eskandar says this month is an important reminder for everyone to look out for their kidney health and to get checked regularly, especially because most kidney disorders are largely asymptomatic early on.
“At least a yearly follow-up check with a primary care physician for basic laboratory testing are very important to identify early enough any potential abnormality in the kidneys,”
For now, Tatyana and her family are continuing to search for a donor so that she can spend more time doing what she loves, with the people she loves.
“I wish somebody comes through and helps me continue to live my life like normal, see my grandkids grow, my daughter and spend more time with them,” said Tatyana.
To learn more about Tatyana’s story and how you can help, CLICK HERE.