One fateful night, Michelle Agnese MSN, RN, was watching the local news and saw something that could give her patient a new lease on life!

Nurse Agnese, who is the Guardian Nurses Mobile Care Coordinator for RWDSU/UFCW Local 338, had been working with a patient in his 40s since he was hospitalized for kidney failure.

He was put on hemodialysis and on a transplant list. His body did not do well with the hemodialysis, but he continued to work and tried to maintain some normalcy despite the constant trips to the dialysis center — all while waiting for a kidney transplant. Patients often wait 3 to 5 years for a kidney to be available.

Luckily, Nurse Agnese saw a report one night on the news about a transplant doctor at NYU whose methods allowed him to use kidneys other transplant centers would have passed over. The next day, she scheduled a consultation with the doctor for her patient. At the appointment, which she also attended, the doctor told the patient and his wife that the transplant would happen within the year. They were skeptical and losing hope, but Nurse Agnese believed that it could happen in the shorter timeframe.

A few weeks ago, Nurse Agnese met with him, and she said, “I could see in his eyes that he was giving up. I continued to encourage him and to keep up the fight.”

And three days later he got the call that a kidney was available. He’s doing well after his operation and ready to start a new chapter — his wife just found out she was pregnant with their first child after trying for 12 years!