Gail Sage remembers hearing the news 18 years ago that became a sudden shock to her.

“I was diagnosed with end stage renal disease,” Sage said.

In 2018 she says doctors noticed a sudden change in her kidney function and in 2019 she was put on dialysis.

“My levels had dropped lower than the usual threshold,” Sage said.

January 2019, Sage says her name was added to the kidney transplant list. June of 2021, she received the phone call with some exciting news.

“She’s like we have a kidney for you and I’m like oh ok. She said we won’t know until about two hours or so if the organ will be viable,” Sage said.

“It has to be a match of a compatible blood type, that’s one thing and there is another,” Transplant nephrologist Dr. Diego Beltran Sanford Health Nephrologists said.

The organ came from across the country in Tennessee after being involved in an accident.

“He didn’t want to be on life support, and they pulled the plug,” Sage said.

Shortly after, it was time to have her surgery.

“It can take three to four hours. The recovery time on average might be anywhere from four to seven days,” Dr. Beltran said.

Now Sage said she remains thankful to have the ability to move about with no restrictions since she is no longer on dialysis.

“This way I can just hop in the car and go visit my friend in Wisconsin and I don’t have to be on anybody’s clock or drag all my stuff along,” Sage said.

“A patient can wait for a kidney transplant for a certain number of years as far as they can stay on dialysis,” Beltran said.