When a hero needs a hero: AFE Survivor in need of a kidney donor

On this Veteran’s Day, we’d like to thank all of those who have bravely served our country. We would especially like to honor two veterans connected to our organization and share their story with you. They are heroes in need of a hero.

Daniel, a Navy veteran, and his wife Vanita, active dutyvanita-and-daniel Navy, are facing a battle unlike any other. In December 2015, the month they expected to welcome their first child turned heart-breaking. As Vanita shares, “the universe had different plans for us”. Tragically, their son Isaac died two weeks before his due date. Forced to deliver her stillborn son, Vanita suffered an AFE and multiple organ failure. She survived, but her kidneys failed to recover. It became immediately clear she would need a kidney transplant. While hospitalized she received over 70 transfusions. Unfortunately, the transfusions resulted in her body building up antibodies that would make it very difficult to receive a cadaver kidney donor. Daniel and Vanita quickly understood she would need a kidney from a living donor. Daniel and those closest to them immediately got tested and were found not to be a match and now must rely on the kindness of strangers.

vanita-and-babyWhile dialysis is keeping her alive, long term dialysis will damage other organs and tissues and significantly shorten her life. Recently, Miranda Klassen, AFE Foundation Executive Director, spent some time with Vanita and Daniel while she underwent one of her weekly 3-hour dialysis treatments. “I was immediately struck by her situation and overcome with emotion. Vanita was enveloped in a sea of blankets to help keep her tiny body warm during her treatment and all I could think was that it should be their baby swaddled in blankets instead. I knew we needed to help share her story and assist with her search for a kidney”, recalls Miranda.

vanita-and-daniel-weddingVanita has been on dialysis since her AFE 11 months ago. “Overnight, I lost my precious baby, my health, and my career. I am active duty Navy, but will not be able to continue with my career path since I am in need of a transplant”, says Vanita. As Isaac’s one year birthday quickly approaches we know how difficult it will be. Please help us in sharing this special family’s story and let’s give them something to celebrate.

Here are two ways you can help:

  1. Share this post
  2. Find out if you are a match- simply contact the Living Donor Coordinator below to receive your application and blood sample kit. Even active military CAN donate. Learn more about living kidney donation.

Vilda Desgoutte-Brown
Phone: 301-319-2841
Email: Vilda.O.Desgoutte-Brown.civ@mail.mil