Blinn College District professor donates kidney to longtime friend

Parallel Studies Professor Mary Lovelidge gives life-changing gift

Parallel Studies Professor Mary Lovelidge gives life-changing gift

May 23, 2019

Blinn College District Parallel Studies Professor Mary Lovelidge and longtime friend Trina Lindemann spent years celebrating birthdays together as neighbors, but last September there was much more  to celebrate than usual. On her birthday, Lovelidge received the news that she was a kidney donor match for Lindemann, who had been diagnosed with a rare disease.

“Finding out that I was a match was very special and exciting,” Lovelidge said. “This is something that I wanted to do since I had a personal connection with Trina and I didn’t want her to have to wait a long time for a donor. She has three kids who need her.”

Lindemann had to turn to dialysis after being diagnosed with a rare kidney disease in 2016.

“Dialysis is very hard on your body and made me really tired,” Lindemann said. “I missed a lot of family events, my kids’ volleyball tournaments and swim meets, and overall it was really hard for me.”

Lindemann received in-center hemodialysis every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5 a.m. and spent most of the day resting following the procedure. To get off dialysis, Lindemann’s only option was to receive a kidney transplant. In May 2018, Lindemann was approved to be on the list for a kidney transplant, but was told that it would be a five- to seven-year wait unless she found a live donor.

“I didn’t know how to ask for a donor, so I posted the information on Facebook and Mary was the first to sign up,” Lindemann said. “Finding out that she was a match, especially on her birthday, was amazing.”

For more than a decade, Lovelidge and Lindemann have lived alongside each other as neighbors and friends, but that moment was the start of a new special bond. Leading up to the surgery, Lovelidge spent time with Lindemann, including joining her at her doctor’s appointments.

“She selflessly volunteered and continued to support me,” Lindemann said. “We formed an even more special bond because she was always there for me and helped me so much during that time.”

Lovelidge also went through testing, counseling, and education in advance of the surgery.

“I really wanted to explore organ donation because I didn’t know much about the process,” Lovelidge said. “I realized that the benefits really outweigh the risks of the surgery, which for me ended up being a really quick recovery time and very little pain.”

Typically, kidney donors leave the hospital within 48 hours of the procedure and return to work a few weeks later with no impact on their health or life expectancy.

Since the transplant on Nov. 20 at the Houston Methodist JC Walter Jr. Transplant Center, Lindemann no longer has to receive dialysis and once again is enjoying all the activities she did before her diagnosis.

“This transplant gave me my life back,” Lindemann said. “I am so thankful for Mrs. Lovelidge’s generosity and that I am able to enjoy family activities and travel again.”

Since the surgery, Lovelidge has returned to work, impacting lives in a different manner as a Blinn College professor.

“Mary has a caring heart that carries over into all parts of her life and work,” said Dr. Pat Westergaard, Dean of Humanities. “I am proud of her example.”

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