The donation that saved her life: How becoming an organ donor saved the life of a North Country resident

ABC50 NOW

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Local to the North Country, but with a moving past, Patricia Watts shared her story on how organ donation not only saved someone else’s life, but her own. 

Patricia Watts, moved to New York from the Seychelles in her twenties to attend SUNY Geneseo.

She then eventually moved to the North Country with her husband to pursue her career in Speech Pathology. 

The two established themselves in the Watertown area while Patricia was pregnant with twins, where they have remained ever since.

Watts however, following experiences from her childhood, kept her ties with her family back home strong. Patricia’s family has been impacted by Polycystic Kidney Disease, which took the life of her father during a kidney transplant when she was 14.

Following her father’s passing, Patricia and her siblings were all tested for PKD, determining that her brother Harry was positive. From there, Harry’s life was dramatically altered, always having to be cautious.

Patricia stated she knew then, that if any of her siblings ever needed a Kidney, hers was theirs.

And then during the summer of 2018, Patricia knew it was time.

After years of work to follow-through with her brother’s life changing surgery, the two traveled to Sri Lanka to find out that organ transplantation was banned. They then had to wait weeks to receive approval from the government of the Seychelles.

However, just to find out, Patricia was living with a ticking time bomb.

During a CT scan prior to donating her kidney, the doctors discovered a splenic aneurysm, which denied her from giving a kidney and could potentially take her life.

But miracles prevailed… The doctors of Sri Lanka performed a groundbreaking surgery. Fixing the aneurysm and donating one of Patricia’s kidneys to her brother. 

The surgery that saved her and her brother’s lives left Patricia reflecting on the fragility of life.

Watch Patricia’s full story above.

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