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Roanoke mom puts plea for kidney donor on the back of her car

(WDBJ)
Published: Aug. 21, 2018 at 7:38 PM EDT
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UPDATE: 8/22/18 11 a.m.

According to Trish Farris, her daughter Alexis Hurley has found a kidney donor.

Almost immediately after Hurley's story aired on WDBJ7, she received a call about an immediate transplant availability. She rushed to the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for the procedure.

As of Wednesday morning, Hurley was in the operating room receiving her transplant.

Farris said she would keep WDBJ7 up-to-date on how her daughter is recovering after surgery.

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One hometown mom is so desperate to give her daughter a normal life, she’s taken her plea everywhere she can, even on the back of her car.

That plea for help has now been spotted all over Roanoke and is driving likes and shares all over social media.

The mom responsible is Trish Farris, who spends most of her days in transit. Now she's decided to make the most of it.

"They'll say, 'I was just behind you and I saw your phone number,'" Farris said in the front seat of her car. "And they'll say, 'Is that real?' Of course it's real!"

Farris has a message plastered on the back of her car - one she hopes can help give her daughter a life she is desperate to have.

“I can’t sit there and think, if something happened to her, because we’ve almost lost her several times this year, I can’t think if I did lose her, I would never be able to live with myself wondering could I have done something more." she said.

Farris is pleading with the rest of Roanoke’s drivers to help find her daughter a kidney.

The exact message reads, "My Kid Needs a Kidney" and is listed with her daughter's blood type and Farris' phone number.

After 10 years of kidney disease, one failed transplant and at least 12 hours of dialysis a week, Alexis Hurley, 19, said her life hasn’t been “normal” for a long time.

"Usually it’s dialysis and then work and then I come home and sleep because I’m drained," the teen said.

After attempts to match kidneys with friends and family, the family ran out of options. They were told it was up to them to find a new match

"I just don’t know why I’m going through this," Alexis said. "It just, it hurts a little bit.”

Her mom said she accepts the challenge .

“I’m doing everything I can to find her a kidney”

It’s why the same message asking for a kidney is plastered on Alexis' car, social media, and even the classifieds.

Farris’ phone now rings off the hook.

“It’s every day of my life," she said of her work to keep Alexis healthy and find her a kidney. "I get phone calls in the middle of the night. 3 a.m, I’ll get them at 4 o’clock in the morning. I’ll get messages. So, it’s 24/7 I’m on call. I’m on call for Lexi.”

Even if someone is not able to donate, Alexis and her mom say they don't mind answering the questions of callers who just want to know more about her situation.

“Don’t be afraid to even ask about what kidney failure is about. I mean you can call my mom anytime, she’s on call 24/7," Alexis said with a smile. "She’ll answer any questions you have. You don’t have to donate as long as you just wanna know about kidney failure, it just means a lot to everybody for people to know.”

Alexis' match is going to be a difficult one. She said she's had so many blood transfusions and hospital stays, fewer kidneys will make a good match.

That frustration is added onto the unpredictable nature of kidney disease.

"Today are we gonna end up in the hospital later? She may look like she feels fine and then all of sudden, an hour later, we’re going to the emergency room and she may be in the hospital for a few weeks," Farris said. "It’s just, we don’t know.”

But the aspiring pediatric nurse is hopeful. Both matchmaker and match receiver eagerly await a call they’ve been longing to hear.

"When she can get better, we wanna go visit the boys," she said, talking about Alexis' brothers, "and actually have a vacation and visit out kids."

"It’s gonna be great, it’s really gonna be awesome," Alexis said, thinking about finding a suitable donor. "...I’m excited to see what the future holds for me.”

Farris said she's also considering putting out a billboard advertisement with her plea. She is also excited for what's in store for her daughter.

“Well when we get that call, it’s gonna be a happy moment and a scary moment," Farris said. "So we have our bags packed and ready to go because if we get a call and say, we have a kidney match – we’re ready, 24/7. We’ll get in the car and go, we’re ready for that.”

It’s why even though parts of Alexis are weak, their mother-daughter bond has never been stronger.

"Our relationship is like no other," Alexis said. "It’s good to know she’s there.”

If you're interested in becoming a donor, you can email Wake Forest Baptist Health at livingdonation@wakehealth.edu or call them at 336-713-5685.

You can also reach Trish Farris at 540-815-8531

Alexis' blood type is O+ but her donation specialist said O+ blood types might also be able to accept kidneys from B blood type donors.

You can learn more about the organ exchange program here: https://www.wakehealth.edu/Paired-Kidney-Donation.htm