Hoping for a Christmas Miracle: Six year old awaits lifesaving kidney transplant

Updated: Dec. 24, 2020 at 2:50 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Granting the wish of children this Christmas. For some children, it’s going to take more than Santa Claus, and he’s the first to admit it. Jannifer Johnson is 6 years old and needs a new kidney.

According to the National Kidney Foundation:

*There are currently 121,678 waiting for lifesaving organ transplants, in this country.

*100,791 are on the list for a kidney (as of 1/1/16).

*Over 3000 new patients are added to the waiting list each month.

*13 die each day waiting for that life-saving kidney transplant.

“It’s a miracle she’s even here” says Shirley Wilson, who’s Jannifer’s great-grandmother and the girl’s caregiver.

Jannifer weighed just a pound at birth. Six years later, she’s never even chewed her own food. She’s had a host of health issues, the most serious being her failing kidneys.

Three days a week, Shirley and her great granddaughter take a cab ride to UNC Chapel Hill for pediatric dialysis. The cab arrives at 4 in the morning, and drops them back home, 12 hours later, at 4 in the afternoon.

“Before this, I never heard of a child being on dialysis. It’s been a real eye opener,” Wilson said. “But even when she’s in the hospital and in pain, she never cries. She’s always greeting people with a smile.”

Soon, you’ll be seeing flyers around town, raising awareness about the need for Living Donors at UNC Health.

For more information, click here.

“That’s all I want for Christmas” Wilson said. “I just want her to have some quality of life.”

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