Gloria was diagnosed with hypertension and acute kidney disease back in 2001, and two years ago, her condition got worse, with Gloria having to go on dialysis and being placed on a kidney transplant waiting list.
The 50-year-old Mother of two sons was told at the time that a donation could take as long as three years or more.
Gloria’s husband of 25 years, Fitzroy, and her oldest son, Nicholas, were tested to determine if their kidneys would be suitable matches for her, but unfortunately, they were not. On the other hand, Paul, who was 18 years old at the time, was a perfect match for his mom and was more than willing to give her one of his kidneys but she felt he was just too young.
“I didn’t know if he was ready to make that kind of decision back then. I didn’t want to put pressure on him and make him feel like it was something he had to do, so I decided to wait,” Gloria revealed at a news conference last week held at Miami’s Jackson’s Ryder Trauma Center.
When Paul turned 21, he and the family felt that he was old enough to proceed with his decision to give his mom the gift of life.
The surgery was performed on April 30th, and after a grueling wait, Dr. Giselle Guerra, medical director of the Living Kidney Program at the Miami Transplant Institute at the University of Miami and Jackson, who oversaw the procedure, informed the Morrison family that all had gone well with Gloria.
According to Dr. Guerra, the transplant added another five to 10 years to Gloria’s life expectancy.
“The survival [prognosis] of the kidney is much longer if it comes from someone who is living vs. the deceased,” Dr. Guerra said. “Overall, they tend to recover very quickly and require less amino-suppressive agents. It’s a win-win situation, because the waiting time of the list of people waiting for a donor also gets shorter.”
Just one week after having had the surgery, Gloria was in tip-top form: she felt energetic and could even taste her food again.
The most important outcome of the surgery, though, was that Gloria was able to really celebrate Mother’s Day with her family sans the tubes, needles, and slew of doctors.
“I’m looking forward to a good quality life, enjoying myself and my children, and hopefully their children and the great-grands,” she said. I want to live as long of a life as I can. I could not ask for anything else.”
As far as her baby boy Paul is concerned, Gloria gushed, “He is my hero.”