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Kidney Transplant Survivor Toasts Life This Holiday Season

20-year-old Learns He Has Stage 5 Renal Failure, Mom Gifts A Healthy Kidney to Save His Life

Mom Gifts a Kidney to Her Son

Harley Brackney, 20, has a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. After a snowboarding accident landed him in the emergency room, Brackney learned he had a life-altering diagnosis.

“I found out my fall was caused by a seizure and that I was in stage five renal failure,” said Brackney, a Reno, Nevada, native. “The diagnosis came as a complete shock. I had no symptoms and felt healthy otherwise.”

After months of dialysis, Brackney’s Cedars-Sinai medical team, led by Tsuyoshi Todo, MD, a surgeon in the Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Transplant Center, said a kidney transplant was his best chance at survival.

Luckily for Brackney, his mother, Joy, was a perfect match.

“In California, the wait time for a kidney transplant can be seven to 10 years,” said Todo. “In Harley’s case, he only had to wait a few months – his mom really saved his life.”

This holiday season, Harley is feeling blessed, especially for his mom.

“Getting a kidney is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but now I feel great,” said Brackney, who is looking forward to being back on the mountain snowboarding and skiing and celebrating his 21st birthday. “Receiving my mom’s kidney is one of the best gifts I’ve been given for any type of holiday – it’s just amazing.”

Patients treated at the Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Transplant Center have some of the best outcomes in the country – with 97 percent of kidney transplant patients surviving beyond the one-year milestone.

“Our multidisciplinary team is proud of our success rates and the fact that we can get patients like Harley back to the activities and lives they loved before their diagnosis,” Todo said.