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Sisters Share Love and Kidney After Transplant Procedure

Twenty-one year old Jazmine Seranno got the shock of her life in 2015 when she visited the doctor complaining of extreme fatigue and a lack of energy. Not only did she learn that her symptoms were due to Stage 3 renal failure, but also that she had been born with only one kidney.

“I originally went to the doctor because I was really tired, losing weight and sleeping 16 hours a day,” Jazmine said. “They thought I was depressed, but I knew I wasn’t because I’m a pretty happy person. When they did blood work, they realized my levels were off. That’s when they did an ultrasound and there was a kidney missing. I was in Stage 3 kidney disease at that point.”

Doctors hoped that with medication management, Jazmine’s only kidney would last another five to 10 years. However, her symptoms worsened and a year after her diagnosis, Jazmine underwent two weeks of training and learned to perform dialysis at home, scheduling the grueling but life-saving treatments around her full-time job.

With her kidney failing rapidly, family members began testing to determine if a living donor match would make a donation to Jazmine possible. Her sister Naraly Serrano, 24, was a perfect match and decided she would give her only sister the gift of life.

“I wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t have any regrets,. So I thought through and processed all of that. But the answer was always the same, and I kept coming back to, 'I want to do this, I need to do this, no one is making me do this.'”

“I wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t have any regrets,” Naraly said. “So I thought through and processed all of that. But the answer was always the same, and I kept coming back to, 'I want to do this, I need to do this, no one is making me do this.'”

When the sisters began preparing for their surgeries in June 2017, neither of them had any idea that their surgeries would mark Cleveland Clinic Florida’s 500th transplant procedure. It was milestone that would be memorable for the sisters and the entire transplant team.

When Cleveland Clinic Florida began its transplant program in 2013, it quickly became the fastest growing program in Florida, and Broward County’s largest provider of solid organ transplantation.

The multidisciplinary team of physicians, surgeons, nurses, transplant coordinators, dietitians, pharmacists and social workers in Florida works in close collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic Transplant Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

In Florida, the transplant program has earned a top five-star rating from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) for providing the best organ transplant outcomes in kidney transplantation, making it the only transplant center in South Florida to achieve this rating for kidney transplants. In 2018, Cleveland Clinic Florida was recognized as a Blue Distinction Center for Transplants for Adult Liver as part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s Blue Distinction Specialty Care Program.

Nationwide more than 117,000 people are waiting for an organ, and on average 20 people die each day while waiting for a transplant, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The average length of time for a patient on the kidney transplant waiting list to receive a deceased donor kidney is five years.

The Seranno sisters are happy that Jazmine did not have to wait long for a new kidney and most importantly, that their surgeries were successful.

“Everything went well, just as we expected,” said Diego Reino, MD, the transplant surgeon who performed the procedure. “The kidney looked beautiful and is now working well.”

The sisters also impressed the transplant team with their devotion to each other and Naraly’s desire for her sister to get well and be free from the constraints of dialysis.

“To be able to have that level of maturity and that level of selflessness at such a young age, to be able to make a decision like this and create a bond that’s even stronger than they had before, it’s truly a beautiful thing to do,” Dr. Reino said.

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