Lynette Daniel, at 27, has had the best of luck and the worst of luck.
A short time ago, she was placed at the top of a waiting list for a kidney-pancreas transplant at LDS Hospital.Her wait was fairly short. Oct. 13, doctors performed the surgery, transplanting the "prettiest, healthiest kidney you ever saw."
But the pancreas didn't survive, and the doctors removed it two days later.
"It's weird," Daniel said. "I counted so much on this surgery, and I guess I was looking at the whole thing as one organ. It never occurred to me the kidney could be OK and I'd lose the pancreas.
"And you know," she said, "I'm in mourning. When that pancreas died, it was like a death in the family.
Daniel took several shots of insulin daily for her diabetes.
Now, Daniel is once again playing the waiting game. In a month, when her kidney has healed a little bit, doctors will try again - this time, with a pancreas-only transplant, the first of its kind in Utah, although pancreas-only transplants have been done in other states.
Without that operation, doctors fear her diabetes will destroy her organs, including the new kidney. She takes multiple insulin shots every day to control the condition, but it has been so severe for so long that she is legally blind, with retinopathy and neuropathy, she has poor digestion and is frequently sick.
Thanks to the healthy kidney, she is at least getting a break from her old schedule of nine hours a week on dialysis.
Because of medication to prevent her body from rejecting the kidney, Daniel has no immune system, so she can see only people who are completely healthy. Without company, she said, "I'm at the stage where I'm so bored I can't stand it. But to get up and walk to the living room, I'm so exhausted I can't stand it.
Having had one transplant, she knows what to expect. And while she's not looking forward to it, she's not as frightened anymore, either. The scariest part, she said, will be raising the money to pay for the second surgery, since pancreastransplants are considered by insurance companies to be experimental.
Anyone who wants to make a tax-deductible donation to the Lynette Daniel transplant fund should contact the Deseret Foundation at LDS Hospital, 321-1704.