For more than 40 years, Dawn Dupree watched her mother struggle with polycystic kidney disease. Dawn knew that she could inherit this genetic condition, which four out of her five siblings also struggled with. From age 20 to 44, her kidney function slowly declined to less than 20 percent, which made a transplant her best opportunity for a life free of illness.
For Dawn, the road to transplant became a complex maze of twists and turns that few hospitals have the capabilities to resolve. After three pregnancies, her antibodies had built up and she was sensitized to transplant, a situation that can cause the body to reject a new organ. Living in England, she and her husband James researched options across the United States and chose Houston Methodist Hospital for the transplant.
After undergoing a state-of-the-art desensitization protocol developed by Houston Methodist physicians and finding a strong donor match in a compassionate acquaintance named Barbara Ward, Dawn received a successful transplant in November 2010. Today she lives a full life with excellent renal function.
"My donor and my physicians at Houston Methodist gave me a new life," she said at her most recent follow-up, a huge smile lighting her face.