Albuquerque woman donates kidney to husband

Albuquerque woman donates kidney to husband

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – From the moment Lisa and Jeffrey met, they knew they would spend the rest of their lives together.

“We became best friends after that and married in 2021,” said Lisa Schnapp.

After one year of marriage, the two were on cloud nine, until some routine medical tests.

“First anniversary, our whole life was ahead of us, and then boom,” said Lisa. “Everything was fine one day and the next day it was not fine anymore.” 

“I felt relatively OK, my blood pressure was a problem, but I felt okay, I was in denial,” said Jeffrey Schnapp.

Results revealed Jeffrey was in end stage kidney disease. 

“Showed that 85% of my kidneys were scarred over and there was no coming back from that,” Jeffrey said. 

He was put on the kidney transplant list. Officials with UNM hospital say, sadly, some patients on that list never make it to the transplant. 

Lisa wasn’t going to let that happen. It turns out not only did the two not want to live without each other, but test results showed Lisa’s kidney could save Jeffrey’s life. 

“It’s just miraculous. That’s all I can say. It’s miraculous,” said Lara Stagg, a UNM hospital nurse. “A match between two unrelated people to actually be a perfect match is about 1 in 100,000.”

Last month, the two went into surgery at UNM hospital together.

“He was motivated to get everything done. She was very motivated to get everything done, both of them jumped through every hoop given to them. They did everything asked of them,” said Stagg.

“I went in first they took my kidney they walk it right across the hall, and they gave it to Jeffrey,” said Lisa.

Now, the Schnapps are looking forward to many more years together, and telling their story to encourage others to get on the living donor list. 

“You can still donate. Maybe you don’t match your partner, or maybe you don’t match your sister or your brother, but you want to get them higher on the list and give them a better chance to live, you can still donate your kidney,” Lisa said.

“Don’t lose hope, cause hope is out there,” said Jeffrey.

Hospital officials say there are more than 100,000 people on the national transplant waiting list. 

If you want to give the gift of a kidney, or want to know more about donating organs, click here for more information