Reversed Roles for Transplant Tech


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — When someone gets sick, they do all they can to find treatments and cures for their disease. However, one particular woman made a whole career based off her illness. Setting up for surgery means giving someone a chance at life for Andie Perona as a surgical technologist, she’s a critical part of this hospital’s transplant team. But in this very room, she was once a patient herself.

“The day after I turned 14, I found out I was diabetic, Type-1 Diabetes. I started taking four insulin shots a day,” Perona told Ivanhoe.

Then when she was 21, she was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease and told that she will need a transplant. Instead of going online, Perona decided to get information about her transplant surgery first hand. Working as part of a transplant team allows her to.

“Know exactly what happens in that surgery. I know exactly what suture. I know exactly every instrument they are going to use at the exact time,” she said.

She knew everything, except when she will get her transplant.

“I mean she was sick. And what is incredible is that she still had a lot of resiliency and came back to work day in and day out,” Chris Fritts, RN said.

In the meantime, her health was failing.

She explained, “Within a matter of about three months, I went from about 65 percent of my kidneys working down to about five percent total.”

Then during her honeymoon, she got the call. She had both a kidney and a pancreas transplant. When she woke up, she could feel what her patients felt.

“I’ve seen it a hundred times, but when it happens to you, it’s unbelievable. It really is,” Perona said

Andie was back in the O.R. three months after surgery. After having to take insulin for over 20 years, she is no longer taking anything but anti-rejection meds.

 Contributor(s) to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.

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