Saturday was Tennessee Game Day, and, as usual, Vol fan Sandra Daugherty was wearing her orange and cheering on the University of Tennessee from the living room of her Pinecrest home. In 1996, the retired school teacher learned she had lived the first 37-years of her with only one kidney. Now, she’s technically down to none and she’s holding out hope a kidney donor will come through for her.
A match for Daugherty begins with finding someone who shares her O positive blood type. Once her dialysis began two and a half years ago, she went on the donor waiting list. Her doctor told her she’s on about a five-year time table for a new kidney. Aside from starting dialysis in 2016, the first challenge of that year was losing her mother to colon cancer.
Daugherty hopes she gets a new kidney soon. But she doesn’t hope for anyone to die to keep her living. Her ideal scenario is for someone to donate one of their kidneys to her and for her to be able to tell her donor about Jesus Christ.
This pillow comes from a craft fair at Cedar Hill Baptist Church
During some of her dialysis visits, three days a week, she’s asked if she’s diabetic. , “No, I was just born with one kidney, and over the years, time just worked on that one kidney,” she tells people.
This is what Sandra calls her ‘dialysis bag.” It’s what she takes to dialysis three days a week.
Daugherty spent 30 years teaching across Campbell County. She was a journeyman elementary school teacher for a good portion of her career with stops at East La Follette, White Oak, Wynn, Pinecrest, Stinking Creek, Caryville and Ridgewood. She finished her final 19-years at Jacksboro Elementary School retiring in February 2016.
Since being retired, the 1978 CCHS alum is the resident encourager at JES. She shows up unannounced a few times a year dropping off bags of candy with uplifting notes to all the teachers.
One of her teaching friends, Vickie Huddleston, even started a Facebook page, “Share your Spare.” Just out of the blue earlier this year, a woman named Stacey from Nashville went through the testing to donate to Sandra. But she’s not been in contact since.
Daugherty has a fistula dialysis port in her left arm. She says it has its own natural beat.
The total time invested in a round of dialysis is about four and a half hours. For Daugherty that happens three days a week. She’s pretty much been on a short leash for a couple of reasons. One is the dialysis; the other is that when the call comes in for a new kidney, she has a small window of time to get to the hospital for the transplant. However, she did slip away for a few days in Florida earlier this year. Aside from that, it’s been a dramatic lifestyle change.
All the while holding out hope for a new kidney, Daugherty has other hopes. She hopes a new kidney will give her more energy allowing her to volunteer at school and help, because she just doesn’t have the stamina now to volunteer. And with a current limit of 32-ounces of liquid a day, she is looking to forward to being able to drink a lot of water.
Daugherty remains optimistic as she waits for a donor
If you or someone you know, ages 18 to 70, would like to learn more about how to donate a kidney to Sandra, call the Living Donor Coordinator with UT Transplant Services. Linda Walker, RN, can be reached at 865.305.5340. UT Medical Center offers a class on how to share a kidney. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/11/2018-6AM)