Local woman able to save another's life with kidney donation - KOAM TV 7

Local woman able to save another's life with kidney donation


Christmas is the season of giving. This year, 1 local woman gives the gift of a kidney. In August, we introduced you to 2 Neosho women who were simply Facebook friends. Now, after going through a lifesaving procedure, they have a long lasting friendship.

For Brandy Kissel, Christmas came 3 months early. A simple post on her Facebook page helped her receive the kidney donation she needed to survive.

“She’s basically saved my life, I’m forever in her debt and there's just, like I’ve said before, there's no way I could ever repay her but just always I think be involved with each other now as time goes on,” she says.

Despite minor complications following the transplant, Brandy is doing well and doctors say the surgery was a success. Grateful she is able to get back to her normal lifestyle, she celebrates the holiday season at an ornament exchange with her donor, Vanessa Copeland.

“It’s nice just to hang and be like hey, I have this whole new person in my life that I didn't have before,” says Vanessa.

Surgery also went well for Vanessa and she was able to walk down the hall that same day to check on Brandy.

“That was sort of a personal triumph I guess, so that was nice that I was able to do that and then of course be able to see her and see that we came out the other side,” says Vanessa.

And because of Vanessa’s sacrifice, Brandy came out of the other side healthy this holiday season for her family.

"It’s very emotional to think that you're responsible for somebody else’s life, that's a big deal, it's a big thing, and I’m so grateful that I had that opportunity,” says Vanessa. “There are people out there that save people's lives every day in everything that they do so it’s not like I’ve done something out of the ordinary you know there are people that have saved multiple people's lives but yeah if you actually stop and think about it it's a bit overwhelming,” she adds.

But for Brandy, the gift was out of the ordinary.

“Obviously, thank you so much for giving me life and you know making my life better for my children and my husband, myself, and just my whole family. Like I said I’m forever in her debt and there's no way I could ever repay but with little things that I try to do all the time for her, I’ll just always feel like I need to step up and help her with whatever she needs,” says Brandy.

Vanessa encourages others to give, in any way they can. She says she has only benefited from the donation.

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