- A college student with incurable kidney disease found a donor on TikTok
- Katie Hallum called her donor her ‘hero’ and the two have become friends
- READ MORE: Kidney transplant from pig to human lasted TWO MONTHS
An Oklahoma college student received a kidney transplant after a donor reached out to her in her TikTok comments.
Katie Hallum, a student at the University of Oklahoma, was diagnosed with IGA nephropathy, an incurable kidney disease, when she suffered kidney failure and suffered a massive seizure.
Last summer, she posted a video to her TikTok account with a caption that read, “Point of view: I heard you say you have blood type O and healthy kidneys.” Text played over the sound: “You have something I want.”
Savannah Stallbaumer, another college student, found the video and offered her own kidney in the comments.
She wrote: ‘Yes, I really want to know. I’m on the list to donate bone marrow but no…organs! I would be more than willing to give you a kidney!
Savannah Stallbaumer offered her kidney to Katie Hallum after commenting on Ms. Hallum’s TikTok video about her rare kidney disease.
Hallum wrote on Facebook: “Words will never be enough to express the depth of my feelings for your sacrifice.” You saved my life. You once told me that you were working to be a nurse because you wanted to be someone’s hero, but now I can tell you that you are already mine.
Hallum wrote on Facebook: “I couldn’t believe it when she first suggested it to me. In fact, I completely ignored her at first. I couldn’t imagine that someone I had just met would be so adamant about saving my life, but she persisted.
‘Even then, I refused to get my hopes up about the possibility of her being my partner. Against all odds, she was.
The two became friends before even knowing if Stallbaumer would be a match. However, once the match was confirmed, she surprised Hallum with the news while he was out to dinner with his family.
‘It was very emotional. “Other people were also crying in the restaurant just seeing him,” Stallbaumer told the local news station. KOCO 5 News.
IGA nephropathy, also known as Berger disease, occurs when the germ-fighting protein immunoglobulin A (IgA) builds up in the kidneys, causing inflammation that makes it difficult for the kidneys to filter waste from the body.
The condition is progressive and patients often do not notice any symptoms for 10 years or more.
When symptoms appear, they include blood in the urine, foamy urine, pain on one or both sides of the back, swelling in the hands and feet, high blood pressure, and fatigue, according to the Mayo Clinic.
IGA nephropathy is extremely rare, occurring in 2.5 in every 100,000 people each year. In some cases, such as Hallum’s, it can cause kidney failure, which is fatal if untreated.
On August 17, 2023, Stalbaumer donated his kidney to Hallum. Both women have successfully recovered from the surgeries.
However, one risk associated with organ transplants is the possibility that the recipient will reject the new organ, but Hallum has not reported any problems so far.
Hallum wrote on Facebook: “We only recently became friends last year, but she already means a lot of things to me.”
‘A trusted confidant, someone I can laugh with, a person I can gossip with, someone I admire for working so hard and most importantly, she is the girl who saved my life.
‘Words will never be enough to express the depth of my feelings for your sacrifice. You saved my life. You once told me that you were working to be a nurse because you wanted to be someone’s hero, but now I can tell you that you are already mine.