Rhode Island Archives - StoryCorps

The Facebook Post That Led To A Kidney Donation: “You messaged me. And you didn’t know me”

It was 2014, when Kim Pratt was suddenly rushed to the ER. She remembers feeling too weak to stand and was soon diagnosed with septic phenomena. Doctor’s told Kim’s family it was unlikely she would live another 48 hours, and they placed her in a medically induced coma.

But Kim survived and woke up two weeks later.

“The room was full of medical people, and they were discussing how Mrs. Pratt had her dialysis treatment today for five hours. And I was saying to myself, ‘What is dialysis and who are these people?’” she remembers.

That was the moment when Kim first learned her kidneys were failing, and she would need to spend the next five years on dialysis. A long and arduous process, she received three treatments per week, leaving little time for anything else. “When I became sick, everything stopped. I was pretty much a full time dialysis patient,” she said.

All the while she held out hope that she’d find a willing donor.

Middle Photo: The bumper sticker and flier Kim created in 2018 to help her find a potential kidney donor. Courtesy of Kim Pratt.

“It’s an interesting thing when you find yourself needing an organ,” said Kim. “It’s not something you can go rent or buy. You have to rely on the unconditional kindness of another human being.”

Kim came to StoryCorps with her friend, CJ Johnston, to remember what happened next.

Top Photo: Kim Pratt and CJ Johnston at their StoryCorps interview in West Warwick, RI on April 8, 2022. By Eleanor Vassili for StoryCorps.

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally aired March 24th, 2023, on NPR’s Morning Edition.