Green Country Man Thankful After Kidney Transplant
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Green Country man said he is thankful for a new lease on life after getting a kidney transplant.
Justin Garrison's life at age 21 looked great. He was in college with dreams of becoming a police officer.
But that all changed after one visit to a doctor's office, when he learned he had a rare disease affecting his kidneys.
"Basically, the filtration in the kidney isn't doing what it’s supposed to do. At the time I was working out and going to college," Garrison said.
Garrison said the next several years were emotionally and physically exhausting.
He said he had to be on dialysis and was constantly low on energy, not like himself at all.
But in October, the greatest news of his life came. Doctors at St. John told him they had a kidney for him.
"I was kind of nervous. Lord I don't know how to feel, I've been doing this for seven years," he said. "The lady said, 'you ready for a life?' I said yes ma'am," Garrison said.
St. John became the only operating kidney transplant Center in Green Country last year.
It's also doubled their transplant numbers to more than 60.
"We have done a record number of kidney transplants. It's an amazing achievement, from a low number to a number like that is huge," said Dr. Irfan Kundi, the Ascension St. John Kidney Transplant Program director.
Right now, in Oklahoma, Kundi said there are about 4,000 people on dialysis and 500 on the transplant list.
"Not only do they live longer, they live healthier with a kidney transplant," Dr. Kundi said.
He urges people to sign up to be an organ donor.
Garrison said he feels so much better already and is grateful this year to have received the gift of a lifetime.
"It's amazing how someone's life can save someone else's life," Garrison said.