Bestowed a second chance at a healthy life, 10-year-old Serenity of Indianapolis, Indiana, plans on making the best of it.
Doctors decided that a transplant would save the 10-year-old’s life. But each positive COVID test dampened Serenity’s chance of getting a new kidney.
Serenity’s family waited three years for this miracle to happen. According to a Facebook post from Serenity’s mom, Quiana Culver, the long-awaited transplant surgery occurred on April 5.
“I was so excited because I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” Culver explained to the outlet. “And I would call the transplant team like, ‘Hey, where is she at?’ I was so excited. I was crying. I called my mom. She was excited. Everybody was excited for Serenity.”
After her transplant, Serenity feels excellent and ready to live like a kid again.
“I feel so better, and I feel so wonderful,” Serenity said. “I can drink whatever I want. I can eat whatever I want.”
In Serenity’s case, COVID ruined her chances of getting the transplant as early as possible, which supports the American Heart Association’s conclusion regarding the disparities in wait times for heart transplants based on race and ethnicity. They concluded that African Americans experience longer wait times than whites.
Several factors play into the AHA’s conclusion, but the main one is that there aren’t many Black donors despite African Americans being the leading minority group in dire need of organ transplants.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, 28.6 percent of transplant candidates in 2021 were non-Hispanic Blacks, who made up only 15.1 percent of organ donors the same year.
In 2021, 7.4 percent of all living donors were non-Hispanic Blacks, while 70.8 percent were non-Hispanic whites.
Of all deceased donors in 2021, 15.1 percent were non-Hispanic Blacks, while 65.9 percent were non-Hispanic whites.
Non-Hispanic Blacks face more difficulties during the organ transplant process than non-Hispanic whites because they are more prone to diabetes and high blood pressure, which can cause organ failures for the patient.
That’s why doctors recommend that the donor and patient match ethnic backgrounds.
According to Be the Match, “Some ethnic groups have more complex tissue types than others,” which is why a matching ethnic background is essential.
But African Americans have low odds of finding a match based on ethnic background. Blacks have 29 percent odds, Asians have 47 percent odds, the Latin community has 48 percent odds, Native Americans have 60 percent odds and whites have 79 percent odds.