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Central Texas News Now story helps man find living kidney donor: Meet the donor

Posted at 11:05 PM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-27 20:04:48-04

BELL COUNTY, TX — The woman you are about to meet is a military wife in Bell County whose own journey through her daughter's kidney complications put her on the path to save the life of former Temple High School football player Darius Joiner.
He has been waiting for a kidney since last year and now, his wait is over and he is going to get a transplant.

So, who is Patty Caldwell?

Caldwell is a military spouse and mother of two.

What inspired her to register as a living donor?

Caldwell's eight-year-old daughter, Paige Brewer, has battled kidney reflux since she was about four-months-old. According to the National Kidney Foundation, reflux is a disorder in which urine backs up from the bladder to the kidney.

"Reflux is something that's very common in little kids and almost always goes away, but it can be very severe and lead to kidney failure," said Dr. Steven Potter, transplant surgeon at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Temple.

These days, Paige feels a lot healthier. "And now that her body's had time to heal from her surgery, she's not gotten sick and we are so thankful and happy," said Caldwell.

Paige's diagnosis led her mother to register as a living donor. "Because just the thought and the fear of possibly, when she was older, needing that. I couldn't imagine, like it wasn't even on the table for us. So I couldn't imagine having someone in my family actually in that situation," said Caldwell.

When did Caldwell make the decision to try to help Joiner?

Caldwell was just one of many touched by Joiner's story. After we aired Joiner's story back in November, more than 100 people called the Baylor Scott and White transplant program and applied to be living donors.

Finally, after months of praying and waiting, it just so happens, Caldwell, is what doctors are calling "a fantastic match."

Where will the transplant take place?

The transplant is scheduled for July 2 at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Temple.

Why is she donating her kidney?

"When the news article first aired back in November and I saw it, I was just drawn to it for some reason. I couldn't figure out why, and I spoke to my husband about it, my close friends and you know, I prayed about it a lot," said Caldwell. "Just decided like I didn't want to know about the what if.... If his kids, he didn't get to walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day."