Panama City woman searches for a kidney donor


PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — In May doctors diagnosed Panama City Resident, Melanie Taylor with stage 5 kidney disease. They say she close to needing daily dialysis.

However, Melanie Taylor’s quest for a kidney donation has not been an easy road.

Melanie Taylor has a genetic disease called polycystic kidney disease.

It’s been difficult to find a compatible kidney donor because most of her family members also have the disease.

Taylor has tried to maintain a positive outlook throughout this process, but with her kidneys functioning at around 10%, this disease is wearing on Melanie. She’s searching for a living donor.

“The main reason I’m seeking a living donor is because a cadaver donor, which would come from a deceased person, the waitlist is about 3-5 years. They also don’t tend to last quite as long as from a living donor,” said Melanie Taylor.

The donor can actually choose whether to remain anonymous or not. Melanie’s medical insurance will cover the cost of the transplant surgery.

“I’ve met with the Mayo Clinic, I’ve already been approved for the transplant, and my insurance will cover all the costs for the donor to be evaluated and the cost of surgery. So financially it will not be a burden on the donor,” said Taylor.

Each patient will have their own team of doctors. Doctors say the recovery process is fairly simple.

“The procedure itself is fairly simple and extremely safe. The recovery time is fairly short. The latest technology including laparoscopic approaches or robotic approaches makes kidney donation a fairly simple procedure. Maybe a couple of small incisions around the belly button and that’s all it needs. The recovery is 24-48 hours then you’re up and walking, being discharged. Within a week you’re back to almost normal activity,” said Nephrologist, Dr. A. Oussama Rifai.

Doctors say the surgery has no long term impact on the donor.

“Kidney donation does not impair your kidney function and does not put you as a donor at risk for donation that kidney,” said Dr. Rifai.

 Another option for potential donors is called paired kidney donation.

“For people that really want to donate a kidney to their loved one, but they’re not a match. There is a program that is now available at many transplant centers called paired kidney donation where you as a donor will donate a kidney to Melanie, and Melanie’s donor will donate their kidney to your loved one,” said Dr. Rifai.

Physicians say you can donate regardless of race, ethnicity or gender.

To find out if you are a match for Melanie go to:

The link for the swap site is:

The living donor coordinator at the Mayo Clinic is named Christine, her email is attached below if anyone has any questions about donation:

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