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The fight to stay alive post-COVID: Green Country woman searches for kidney donor

Posted at 10:51 PM, Jan 18, 2021

TULSA, Okla. — Other than the lungs, doctors are discovering coronavirus can severely damage organs such as the heart and kidneys.

49-year-old Tresa Eagle-Miller is now hoping COVID’s effects will not stop her kidneys from working, as she searches for the one thing that makes the difference between life and death: a kidney.

“That’s what I’m doing. I'm looking for O+ or O-, if anyone has one laying around,” Eagle-Miller said.

Eagle-Miller has polycystic kidney disease, an inherited disorder. She was diagnosed four years ago. So, she has known she would need a kidney donation. However, COVID-19 boosted the urgency.

“It did a number… it did what it needed to do with my kidneys,” Eagle-Miller said. “The whole goal was to stay away from COVID because of the possibility of fatality for me.”

Eagle-Miller now needs dialysis to stay alive. Since she contracted coronavirus, her kidneys are larger than a football. A normal-sized kidney can fit in two hands.

“They’re polyps all over, cysts all over my kidneys,” said Eagle-Miller. “It’s very humbling to know I took pride in being a very strong individual, a strong Native woman and now I need help.”

Until she gets that special donation, Eagle-Miller undergoes dialysis twice a week. Her first round was on Monday. Hundreds of people follow her journey online.

Johns Hopkins reports, up to 30% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in China and New York developed moderate or severe kidney injury.

100,000 people in the U.S. are currently waiting for a kidney donation.

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