Woman gives mother the ultimate gift for Mother’s Day

May 13, 2018, 8:01 PM | Updated: 11:31 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – “I wanted to wish you Happy Mother’s Day and let you know how much I love you,” said Amanda Terry during a phone call to her mom. “Thanks you for being my mom and giving me life.”

For many of us, Mother’s Day started out like this.  Thanking our moms for giving us life.  But how many of us can say we returned the favor?  Amanda Terry can.

“My mom, what can I say, she’s my best friend,” smiled Amanda.

About four years ago, her mom, Barbara, started having health problems.

“She was just tired a lot and ended up having pain all over her body,” said Amanda.

Barbara was finally diagnosed with having kidney failure.  By the time doctors figure it out, her kidneys together were only functioning at 11 percent.  She needed a new kidney immediately.

“When we decided to do a transplant, I said ‘mom, where do I sign up? I’ll do it tomorrow, whatever I need to do,’” said Amanda.

Amanda didn’t hesitate.  She went through the testing process, but then received another blow.  She wasn’t a match.  But maybe someone else was.

Amanda and Barbara learned about the paired donation program, where Amanda could donate a kidney to someone else and Barbara could then get a kidney from a different match.

Alex McDonald with Intermountain Donor Services says the program has saved countless lives.

“Before it was, ‘I’m sorry. You’re not a match.  There’s not much more we can do,’” said McDonald.  “Now, with the computer systems and people willing to be put on matching lists, they can do a phenomenal job of matching people from across the country.”

So that’s what they did.  Amanda gave up a kidney and her mom got the gift of life from an anonymous donor.  And while they live states apart, that gift will allow many more Mother’s Day phone calls to come.

“The best gift I could have ever gotten,” said Barbara over the phone. “Best Mother’s Day ever.”

If you’d like to learn more about the paired donation exchange program or becoming a donor, visit yesutah.org. 


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Woman gives mother the ultimate gift for Mother’s Day