Destrehan alum searches for living kidney donor

Danielle Roy with her family

Danielle Roy began feeling ill during her birthday dinner with family, with no inkling of how different her life was about to become.

The St. Charles Parish native and Destrehan High alum had always been healthy, her regular checkups at the doctor never yielding anything of major concern. But that night she felt something was very wrong and it spurred her to an emergency room visit to be checked out.

“They noticed something wasn’t right, so we went to the hospital,” said Roy’s mother, Ellie Rodrigue.

The scans came back with a scary result – Roy’s kidneys had shut down.

After a month in the hospital, Roy, 33, began undergoing dialysis three times a week. But it wasn’t enough to return her to health, and recently she was told she would need a new kidney – and that her best chance would be to seek out a living donor.

While Roy is on a waiting list to receive a kidney donation, it could be years before she receives one. It’s a difficult position to be in, and Roy and her family were not sure where to start.

“She’s posted things on Facebook and got it out there, but it isn’t easy,” Rodrigue said. “Her health insurance will pay for a prospective’s testing.”

“Ochsner has a website where you can go (ochsnerlivingdonor.org), put her name in it, and health information and it will determine if you qualify.

“I can’t donate because she needs to find someone in their 40’s or younger. We have other relatives who are either older than that or have diabetes, other health issues or young kids of their own. Nobody really knows how long it could take to wait on the list. People aren’t donating like they used to,” Rodrigue said.

Roy ‘s blood type is A positive- her donor can be blood type A or O , positive or negative.

Along the way to finding that donor, Roy’s had to leap the many hurdles that come with the situation, all the while parenting her 4-year-old daughter.

“The depression around it,” Rodrigue said. “The uncertainty. It’s just really hard… she’s trying to work at a job she loves to make enough hours for her health insurance.”

Roy has always had a big heart. Rodrigue said her daughter loves children and has routinely volunteered and worked at schools and summer camps in her life. She also took care of her grandmothers, when they needed help with their daily living while in high school and college.

“One of her grandmother’s would call her her little nurse,” Rodrigue said. “She would take her paternal grandmother out to eat, get her nails done and drive her where she needed to go when she could no longer drive. She always enjoyed helping others.”

 

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