Twelve years ago, Debbie Webb had her first kidney transplant. The organ came from a person who had just died, and those have a projected maximum life span of about 12 years, said Webb, who owns the hair salon Short Cutz in Sunny Side. However, pneumonia ended the functioning of her kidney two years ago, and ever since, Webb has been on dialysis.
Having her blood purified three times a week while running a small business has left its mark on Webb. Covered by a blanket, she sits in a chair at her salon and looks tired. And while she insists that she has always worked hard, she admits to being fed up with regular dialysis.
“I can’t take it anymore,” she said.
That’s where her daughter, Daphne Bottoms, comes in. Bottoms has offered to donate one of her kidneys to her mother, but even if the two turn out to be a match, there is a lot more to the procedure than mere surgery.
Before doctors can consider operating, both women will need to lose weight, said Webb. Bottoms has already taken a step to bring surgery in reach by quitting smoking four months ago.
After the surgery, which will be done at Emory Hospital in Atlanta, Webb will need medications that can add up to many hundreds of dollars per month, depending on how well her body adjusts to the new kidney. To help her with these expenses, Webb’s church, Sharon Baptist Church in Griffin, started a fund-raiser in her name.
Part of this fund-raiser is an event on Aug. 1 at Pirkle Campground that will feature a yard sale, a silent auction and gospel artists. The goal is to raise $10,000, as the Kidney Foundation of Georgia will match any donations up to this amount. So far, the church’s drive to support Webb has generated $1,000.
“I’m very appreciative,” she said of those efforts.
Bottoms, meanwhile, doesn’t seem worried at all about the prospect of giving away a kidney. In fact, she offered it to her mother.
“I know she would do it for me if it was the other way around. It doesn’t make me nervous at all,” she said.
Despite the arduous past two years, Webb is optimistic that with a new kidney, things will start to look brighter. And her belief in the power of prayer will help her get through it all, as it did during her first transplant. Back then, her projected time on the waiting list was three years. It ended up being a month.