Abel and Gabriela Valdes have shared many milestones in their lives: they began dating at the age of 17, married after a few years, and now have three beautiful children. Wedding vows, however, are more than just words for this couple: when Abel became gravely ill, Gabriela did not hesitate to help her husband.
Abel was diagnosed with chronic renal failure, commonly known as chronic kidney disease (CKD), a condition characterized by progressive loss of kidney function over time as well as fluid retention. At the time, Gabriela was also expecting their third child. In 2016, Abel began dialysis and was placed on the national transplant waiting list. However, his health continued to deteriorate. Abel was admitted to the hospital numerous times for fluid retention, and he had open-heart surgery in October 2017 as a result of the stress dialysis had put on his body. The family was sent to MTI, a unique partnership between Jackson Health System and UHealth – University of Miami Health System at Jackson Memorial Medical Center, to learn more about the Living Donor Kidney Program, which is managed by UHealth’s Giselle Guerra, MD.
Dr. Guerra continued, “It is the renal program’s heart and soul because it generates the finest results.” “Patients do not have to wait on a list, and they can be transplanted with a living donor at any time, minimizing the time they need to be on dialysis.” Gabriela, a nurse at a local hospital, was taken aback when she learned of this option and how she may be the one to save her better half if she was a match.