‘Don’t lose hope’ Hospital worker donates kidney to patient

News

ST. LOUIS – Ryan Elbert who lives near Milwaukee is married, happy, and hoping to soon start a family. However, his high school years in St. Louis were not so enjoyable.

Elbert was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure in 2005. The kidney condition required dialysis which the ongoing treatment was emotionally and physically draining.

“Every ounce in your body, every cell in your body feels like it is attacking you for doing this to it,” Elbert said. “It’s an extremely, extremely tiring process to go through dialysis.”

Elbert was a patient at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. Erin Foristal, transplant coordinator at the hospital, helped watch over Elbert when he was a patient.

“He missed out on a lot of high school fun,” Foristal said.

When Elbert turned 18, he was still in need of a successful transplant. Adults often have longer wait times for a donor. Foristal decided to ask Elbert if he would let her donate one of her kidneys.

“It was an awesome, awesome gesture,” Elbert said.

Foristal and Elbert underwent successful transplant surgery at SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital.

“I donated on a Wednesday and was back at work the next Tuesday,” Foristal said. “It seemed like a pretty easy thing to do to make such a difference in somebody’s life.”

Foristal witnessed, through her job, the difference a living donor can make. She now has an even more powerful perspective.

“A lot of kids want to know what a scar looks like after a kidney transplant,” Foristal said. “I can show them my scar.”

“If it wasn’t for an organ donation, I would not be sitting here in front of you today feeling as awesome as I do,” Elbert said.

“I live a normal healthy life,” Foristal said. “You wouldn’t know that I have one kidney.”

Elbert hopes those waiting for a transplant find hope in his fortune.

“Please don’t lose hope,” Elbert said. “You have many, many people pulling for you and you will get through this.”

Foristal said donors should know it is the recipient’s insurance that covers the cost of surgery. She said donors are also given a priority if they are ever in need of an organ.

April is Donate Life Month. Foristal and Elbert hope to encourage everyone to find out as much information as they can about becoming a donor.

For more information about transplant services, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News