Celia May Williams is in need of a life-saving kidney transplant.
Ten years ago she was diagnosed with diabetes, and despite her healthy lifestyle, genetics have led to a failing kidney.
Fortunately, the search for a kidney donor stops at home.
Williams has 15 children and all seven of her daughters say they're more than willing to donate their own flesh and blood to help their mother.
Until four years ago, William's search for transplant services would have started at the Baylor Medical Center in the Dallas area, which is the closest hospital that offers organ donations.
In 2009, Covenant Medical Center stopped providing organ transplants, affecting dozens of patients every year.
But thanks to a Baylor Branch that was built in 2011, Lubbock patients can find help much closer to home.
Dr. Bernard Fischbach is the Medical Director for Baylor Medical Centers in Dallas and Fort Worth.
Every Thursday, he makes a trip from Dallas to Lubbock just to meet with West Texas patients.
"When we found out the transplant centers out here had closed down, we felt there is a need for transplant care in West Texas," Fischbach said.
Fischbach says he sees anywhere between nine and 12 patients every week, and in four years has helped hundreds of patients receive the treatment and evaluation they need.
Anyone hoping to become a recipient of a new organ must have several pre-transplant consultations.
"We see if they're stable to get through the surgery, be able to take the medicines, get the medicines, so that's the whole point of the pre-transplant evaluation," Fischbach said.
After a few meetings to evaluate who will donate the organ, the recipient will make just one trip to a Baylor Hospital for the surgery itself.
Then comes the healing process and post-transplant appointments.
"Patients are able to go back to work. Patients are able to travel. Overall, their quality of life improves dramatically," Fischbach said.
Because Celia walked through the doors with seven potential donors, her wait time for a new kidney falls from three to five years to around six months.
Copyright 2014 KCBD. All rights reserved.
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