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BHS grad feels “amazing” after getting Mom’s kidney

Twelve days after Jessica Hildebrand’s June 10 Battlefield High School graduation at Jiffy Lube Live, her mother, Tish, gave her a most unusual, but much appreciated gift. It was not cash, a car, or a Caribbean cruise, but Jessica is forever grateful and will never go anywhere without it. Tish gave one of her kidneys to her precious daughter Jessica to restore some normalcy to her health.

Jessica was born with reflux hydronephrosis, which caused her kidney function to drop as low as nine percent. So the two-hour wait in the sweltering heat for her graduation ceremony to start was a burden. Reflux hydronephrosis is caused by a stretching of the inside of the kidney, which collects urine made in the outer part of the kidney that drains down the ureters to the bladder. This leads to atrophy of the kidneys. Doctors suggested Jessica’s situation had corrected itself, or she could go on antibiotics. When she was 13, she was diagnosed as having a urinary tract infection and treated again with antibiotics.

In the ninth grade, Jessica wanted to play basketball. She had played guard from 7 to 13 in the Gainesville Basketball Association. Rick, her father, was her coach. At the time, nobody was thinking of checking her kidneys, but to play she needed a physical. Based on her blood and urine analyses, she was referred to a nephrologist. This resulted in the discovery she had small kidneys that had been scarred by infection.

See the Sept. 2 issue of the Bull Run Observer for the full story

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