Montgomery County woman receives kidney transplant just in time for Christmas

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) There are currently over 80,000 people waiting for a kidney transplant. Until recently, Sandra Bragg, a Montgomery County woman, was on that list.

Wayne Bragg has a new nick-name for his wife: “My miracle girl,” said Bragg. “My loving miracle girl.”

Bragg is all smiles now, but for the past five years her quality of life has been a lot different.

“Dialysis…she stayed sick,” said her husband. “Changes your life quite a bit.”

Bragg has battled kidney disease for most of her life. Five years ago she started dialysis and was placed on the transplant list. Since then, she has had two false alarms.

“Third time’s the charm,” said Bragg.

It’s that optimistic attitude that Bragg said got her through this.

“I kept on saying I'm going to get one for Christmas. I was determined I was going to get one,” said Bragg. “I told my dialysis tech, I said I won't see you for Christmas because I'm going to be getting a kidney.”

Sure enough, two days before Christmas she got the call.

It's still very new- she's been doing her breathing exercises, taking the antirejection pills and sharing the excitement with her husband.

Bragg has a duffel bag filled with blankets and pillows. It’s her dialysis bag. She is proud that she will no longer have to use it. Instead, she will donate it to another patient going through treatment.

“And hopefully down the road, they can donate it,” said Bragg.

She wants to go back to the treatment center and talk to patients. Bragg says she hopes her story will help others because she remembers the weight of the list and how she felt at her lowest point.

“For a while I didn't have faith, and I thought oh this is it? This is going to be my life?” said Bragg. “And it's totally changed. I mean... just keep the faith.”