Lufkin double transplant survivor begins his next challenge

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Carrie Donaghey shed tears of joy as she explained her husband's difficult double transplant. Ronnie Donaghey has lived with type one diabetes for the past 38 years.

"When they first found out I had it I was like 11 years old and they didn't know a lot of knowledge," Ronnie said. "And it finally got to my kidneys where it destroyed my kidneys."

He began dialysis two years ago as his kidneys started to fail. In August, his wife received the transplant call they had been praying for.

"She handed me my phone, and as they were talking to me I already knew that that's what is was about. So, I kept elbowing her and said this is the call we've been waiting on," Ronnie said. "The next night I was in surgery and it was a 12 hour surgery on me because I got a pancreas and a kidney."

Since Ronnie has been recovering so well from the surgery, he will be starting courses at Angelina College Monday.

"I'm taking heating and ac and I'm ready to go back to work.if anybody is going through what I did, just the best thing to do is be very positive and keep your head up," Ronnie said.

The speedy recovery from Ronnie's double transplant was an eye opener for the couple on how priceless life is. Ronnie and Carrie were married a few days after his transplant.

Carrie Donaghey said, "We have several anniversaries now. We have the day we met anniversary. We have our new life anniversary with the kidneys and then our anniversary of our wedding."

Galveston UTMB doctors say Ronnie is healing faster than most double transplant patients they've had. They expect six months to a year for a full recovery.

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