Dozens of family members offered to give Amy (Hunt) McLain one of their healthy kidneys.
But it was Amy's dad, Paul Hunt, founder and chief technical adviser of Hunt Technologies, Inc., in Breezy Point, who was found to be fully qualified for the job.
On Aug. 1, a healthy kidney from Paul was transplanted into his and his wife Lynn's daughter, Amy, at the Mayo Clinic. The operation was a success.
McLain became critically ill and nearly bled to death a year ago last September after contracting Goodpasture's Syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease that can start as a result of a viral infection. At one point, the 21-year-old's heart suddenly stopped and she spent several days in a drug-induced coma while doctors in Arkansas saved her life.
Goodpasture's Syndrome destroyed her kidneys and McLain had been undergoing dialysis treatments until her kidney transplant Aug. 1. Despite her new kidney, McLain is not cured and will have to continue to manage her disease the rest of her life. She has to monitor herself each day and will need to take $10,000 worth of life-saving drugs each year.
She and her husband, Colin, 23, have a 2-year-old son named Rochester. The young family moved to Mankato a month after her transplant. Colin is attending post graduate classes at Minnesota State University in Mankato and is working toward a master's degree in political administration/science.
McLain just started a job as a sales person for an indoor air quality systems company and plans to start teaching massage therapy at Sister Rosalind Gefre's School of Professional Massage Therapy in Mankato in November.
Rochester is an active boy who likes to ride his trike and play with his new pet, Cliffy the cat, Amy said.
Paul Hunt is "back to his creative self," said Amy, adding that her experience this past year has changed her relationships with everybody.
"I've learned that your friendships and relationships are the only things that are important. I can assure you that not once while I was in my coma did I think about if my furniture matched, or if my jewelry was OK, or for that matter how much money was in the bank," she said. "What I thought about were people.
"I have learned that my grandfather Norman Hunt was a truly wise man," she said of her grandfather who died of cancer in 1999. "He told me that, 'It is never my intuition that fails me, only I who fails my intuition.'"
McLain has a Web site where her family and friends can keep track of her progress and also read her original poetry. To access her Web site, go to http://amy.dflytech.com.
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