On Tuesday, the Cartersville resident donated her kidney to help save the life of Bryson, an 11-year-old Acworth resident who suffers from medullary cystic kidney disease. Following her surgery at Emory University Hospital, Bryson received the organ during transplantation at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. Along with the surgeries being successful, both reportedly were recovering as of Tuesday afternoon.
"Tina is an incredible and amazing woman," said Bryson's father, Joe Dickman. "We could never repay her for what she has done for our son, and we are forever indebted to her. She is Bryson's hero, and we love her. She is a member of our family now."
According to a press release from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Jennings decided to donate her kidney after seeing a flier expressing Bryson's condition.
Neither of his parents were eligible donors, so they looked to the community for help. They hung homemade fliers around their hometown of Acworth and in Cartersville, where his mom, Lori, works at a doctor's office.
Following the transplantation, Bryson's surgeon Christian P. Larsen, M.D., said "Bryson's surgery went very smoothly as planned. His new kidney 'pinked up' immediately when we completed the connections to his blood vessels. I expect it to function properly and allow him to avoid dialysis."
In 2008, Bryson's then 8-year-old sister, Sarah, received a kidney from a stranger who also contacted the family after seeing a flier. Although neither parent could be the donor for their children, Joe Dickman is registered with a paired donor program and hopes to give another child a second chance at life as two strangers have done for his children.