Brett Hartmann

Organ Donor
Age 23 - Baltimore, Maryland
Date Of Donation: 9/18/10
Hospital: Johns Hopkins Hospital

How can you tell your donor thank you for being an angel?  Saying “thank you” just doesn’t seem to do justice compared to giving a kidney. My son Adam was on dialysis for eight years when he received his gift of life from his donor Brett.  Adam was on the waiting the list for many years prior to his transplant.  When Brett heard Adam’s story from a family member he made it his mission to donate his kidney.   Adam’s story is one of heartbreak and courage.  He began dialysis when he was eight years old.  We live in Lufkin Texas but because Lufkin doesn’t have a pediatric dialysis unit we had to make the drive to Houston every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Adam never complained, it just became his routine.  When Adam was ten I donated my kidney to him, but there was a complication during my surgery and my kidney was damaged while being retrieved so it was not a successful transplant.  When Adam found out what had happened he apologized to me like it was his fault. My heart just broke, I felt so helpless. After several more years on being dialysis I became angry that a match hadn’t been found for Adam.  This is when I made it my mission to find a kidney for Adam. I registered Adam in San Antonio with their transplant center.  I also contacted Johns Hopkins in Baltimore Maryland and they agreed to help Adam in finding a match.  This is when Adam’s donor Brett stepped in, he heard about Adam from my cousin and said he wanted to see if he was a match.  I honestly didn’t think he would be a match and I didn’t think he was sincere about donating.  But he was! He went out of his way to contact Johns Hopkins and made all the arrangements for the testing to see if he was a match.  AND HE WAS! I’ll never forget when Brett called me and said he was a match.  Adam had to go through several rounds of plasmapheresis to lower his antibodies so the new kidney wouldn’t become under attack.  On September 18, 2010 the transplant took place and was a success!! After years of seeing Adam live his life in a dialysis chair it was nice to see him begin living his life in the real world. 

After the transplant Brett has had some medical complications and has had a pretty rough year, but he is always reassuring me that he would never change anything.  I will never be able to thank Brett enough for what he has done for Adam, for our family. 

Brett went above and beyond to make this transplant happen.  It wasn’t like this was a transplant next door.  Brett had to travel from Houston to Baltimore several times before the transplant.  He helped with our fundraising campaigns, he helped spread the word to become an organ donor.  He gave us hope when I thought we lost it. 

I want the world to know what an awesome person Brett is!

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