Every year, the "Meinert sisters" reunite on their transplant anniversary. This year, they decided to come together in San Antonio and visit the care team at Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital.
Tammy Rusznak was 21 years old when she was diagnosed with kidney failure. At 22 years old, her sister, Tracy Meinert, donated her kidney to save her sister's life.
"I wouldn't be here without the transplant," said Tammy. "She gave me life."
After the transplant, Tammy finished college, got married and now travels. Tracy also finished college and runs a successful business in San Antonio. The sisters are passionate about telling their transplant story.
Tammy’s transplant has been successful for 33 years and counting. Over the years, the sisters have participated in the Donate Life Transplant Games, Donate Life events and Guinness World Records events in 2018 for living organ donors and transplant recipients. They have become outspoken advocates for organ donation.
"We have really tried to share the message with the community about transplants and organ donation," said Tammy. "I've been able to live a relatively normal life because of my sister."
Since the program started in 1984, Methodist Specialty and Transplant has grown to become the largest living donor program in the United States. Dr. Adam Bingaman, MD, Transplant Surgeon, helped create a way to match compatible donors and recipients through an exchange program.
“Our goal is to make an impact in the lives of those patients on a transplant waiting list,” said Dr. Adam Bingaman, MD, Transplant Surgeon. “We have a team solely dedicated to transplanting patients with living donors who are not a match. You don’t have to find someone who is a match. We do that.”
Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital is the most experienced live donor and exchange program in the country by offering unique options for difficult transplant patients. Since January 2019, Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital has completed 140 live donor transplants, and 43 of those were exchange transplants.
To learn more about the Kidney Transplant Program, click here: https://sahealth.com/service/kidney-transplant.