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Kyla Winters and her identical twin sister Liana Thomas have always shared everything from the time they were children – their looks, clothes, laughs and tears. So when Kyla contracted a frightening illness which nearly claimed her life, Liana rushed to be by her side.
Kyla had meningococcal meningitis, a highly-contagious bacterial infection which resulted in the amputation of her fingers and both of her feet. Her health declined so quickly that doctors weren't sure she would pull through and when she finally did, the illness had sent her into kidney failure.
|Kyla (right) and her twin sister,
Liana, shortly after kidney
Kyla said she could deal with the amputations, but the daily dialysis stemming from her kidney failure was almost too much for her to bear. Liana moved her family from the Bay Area to San Diego to help care for Kyla full-time, but while she worked to restore Kyla's happiness and confidence, she felt helpless watching Kyla suffer through her grueling dialysis treatments.
Liana inquired with the Sharp Memorial Hospital Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program about donating a kidney to Kyla. Since they are identical twins, doctors said Liana would be a perfect match for Kyla and that the kidney would likely last Kyla her entire life.
On Aug. 25, 2010, Liana donated her kidney to Kyla. After just two days of recuperation, Kyla and Liana were all smiles recovering in their hospital beds at Sharp Memorial. And now the twins share more than raven black hair and light eyes — Liana is literally a part of Kyla.
For More Information
To learn more about Sharp's transplant services or to find a Sharp-affiliated physician, search for San Diego doctors or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. To find general information about transplant, visit Transplantation in Adult Health or read the Transplant News archive or attend a Kidney Transplant 101 class.