Successful surgery: A Tucson teen donates her kidney to a toddler
Reporter: Valerie Cavazos
(TUCSON KGUN9-TV) -- A Tucson teen has done what many would rarely think to do. 18-year-old Briana Delcampo donated her kidney on Tuesday to a toddler who has endured renal failure most of his life.
The day of surgery finally arrived after more than a month of waiting. Nothing was going to stop 18-year-old Brianna Delcampo from giving little Isaiah Hernandez a better life. KGUN 9 reporter Valerie Cavazos asked Briana's mother, Lynnette Torrez, if there was ever a time when Briana wanted to back out." Her mother was quick to answer, "No." Even if that meant possibly losing her life in the process.
Torrez said, "I came with her this morning and she started getting her nerves and I don't know. I knew I wanted her to do it, but at the same time I was afraid for her to go through with it. I guess as a mother I kind of felt selfish because I didn't want to lose her."
Isaiah's mother, Terri Hernandez, felt the same of Briana's sacrifice. "She's doing something brave for a teenager. Most teenagers don't do things like this. I asked her many times if she wanted to back out then I wouldn't hold it against her. She said she wanted to do it."
Each hour, both nervous mothers and families were posted on the progress of the surgeries. At about noon, the transfer was underway. "Vitals are good. Right now they're in the process of removing the kidney to transport it into the baby's room so they can finish it up with him," said Torrez.
During the long wait -- Briana's mother continued to hear her daughter's assurances over and over in her mind. "She told me - everybody has a purpose in life here and that was her purpose to save his," said and emotional Torrez.
A life-changing decision that surprised both mothers -- one who is forever grateful and the other who is forever proud. "She's my hero, I'm very proud of my daughter," said Torrez.
After about 7 hours of surgery -- the University of Arizona Medical Center says Briana and Isaiah are fine and the surgeries were a success. The mothers say both will be in the hospital a few days -- more for Isaiah -- as they recover.