Local teen with rare kidney failure finds a match on her mother’s birthday

Posted at 11:16 PM, Jun 05, 2017

MUSKEGON, Mich. – A mother from Muskegon received the ultimate birthday surprise when her daughter received a new kidney after months on dialysis.

Olivia Duncan, 18, had been battling a rare form of stage 5 kidney failure and had her kidneys removed eight months ago. She has been on dialysis ever since and was featured on FOX 17 in March, as family members and doctors tried to get the word out about her need for a transplant.

On Sunday, while celebrating her mother's birthday, the family received a call that a deceased donor was a match for Olivia.

“Helen DeVos [Children's Hospital] saying we have a kidney,” says Tressa Crosby, Olivia’s mom. “And we just went to screaming and crying and just rejoicing and happy.”

Olivia underwent the transplant Monday afternoon and gave a thumbs up from her hospital bed after coming out of the operating room.

"It was the best birthday present I could have ever had,” said Olivia's mother. "It was just amazing. It was the frosting on my cake. It was just wonderful."

Family members and friends say they're thrilled the teenager will now have a second chance at a healthy future.

“I’ve seen her so sad, going through rough times, wanting to eat things she couldn’t eat. And I felt so bad for her,” said Olivia's younger sister Jasmine.

“You think, man, when is this going to happen? And then out of nowhere, we find a kidney. God is good," said Olivia's friend Gabrielle.

Olivia will no longer have to do dialysis at home and is looking forward to being able to swim again.

The family is hoping to eventually thank her donor's family.

If you'd like to become an organ donor, you can register on the Michigan Secretary of State's website.