3 generations of kidney transplants at Mercy Health in Grand Rapids

Posted at 5:39 PM, Jul 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-19 19:10:31-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Three generations underwent the same kidney transplant at the same hospital, all receiving the gift of life thanks to the same doctors.

The Crittendon/Burggraaf family has knowingly had Polycystic Kidney Disease for at least five generations. It's a genetic disorder causing cysts to grow on their kidneys.

They've been putting their faith in the hands of the same doctors at Mercy Health St. Mary's for three generations, celebrating 44-year-old Travis Crittendon's new kidney Wednesday thanks to his cousin Kevin Crittendon.

"When I woke up (after surgery), I already felt better," Travis said. "I got like a little burning of energy which is cool, I haven't had that in a while."

The family's first patient at Mercy Health was grandmother Marlys Burggraaf, who received a kidney transplant from a deceased donor in 1991. She was kidney recipient #483 in the program.

Since then, roughly 9 Crittendon/Burggraaf family members have had a kidney transplant. Travis Crittendon is leading the way for the third generation of the family, making him the 2,935th person to get a kidney transplant at Mercy Health St. Mary's in Grand Rapids.

"The hardest part for me is what he (Kevin) put himself through just to give me something to me, to help me get my life back," Travis said. "It's so amazing."