Lisa Heaton and her family

Lisa Heaton, far left, with her family. Lisa received a kidney transplant at UMMC.

Lisa Heaton, her father and her son had polycystic kidney disease (PKD), but none of them showed signs of advanced disease. Her symptoms began suddenly in 2014, and a trip to the doctor revealed that she had end stage renal disease.

Dialysis helped for a while, but was not a long-term solution. Lisa’s local medical center’s transplant program was small and they did not think they could provide her with the level of care that her case necessitated. Her nephrologist recommended she drive to Baltimore for treatment at a larger, academic medical center. She did a lot of research before choosing a center, but ultimately chose to come to UMMC for her care.

“I felt confident choosing UMMC because they serve a broad population and are willing to be innovative. Because they perform hundreds of transplants every year, there isn’t anything they haven’t seen,” Lisa said.

Lisa was listed on the transplant waiting list in March 2016. Her husband, Robert, intended to be her directed donor, but before a directed donation match was made, she got the call that a kidney was available from a deceased donor. On May 17 2016, Lisa received a kidney from a donor in Hawaii.

In June, 2017, she celebrated her one-year transplant anniversary with her family and is very optimistic for the future.

“I could not have asked for better care than that I received from UMMC, both the surgery and the follow-up care,” Lisa said.

The UMMC Transplant Center Pharmacy is dedicated in honor of Lisa’s uncle, Kraig Baier, who passed away after a long battle with kidney failure.