Oviedo woman receives vital kidney donation from her daughter


Imagine your life is at stake and you ask complete strangers to save your life. This is what a person who needs an organ transplant does every day. As a wife, mother and kindergarten teacher, Jackie Rothermich had a full life. But last year, Jackie needed someone to help save her life. She recorded and posted a video on Facebook asking someone to donate a kidney. She included a jingle as she often used in class. “All I want for Christmas is a new kidney. You could be a living donor and change things for me,” she sang. After 30 years of teaching, Jackie was diagnosed with kidney failure. Doctors said she only had a few months to find a donor. “I was going through things, like okay, ‘my will is in order. Who gets what, jewelry-wise? It was the scariest time of my life,” she said. No one was willing or able to give in in time. The family was now considering palliative care. Jackie’s 26-year-old daughter, Courtney Rothermich, decided she wanted to donate. “I can’t imagine a world without her. I wasn’t ready to imagine a world without her or a world where her quality of life was so different from what she had hoped for,” Courtney said. After months of testing, Courtney has proven to be a match. But her mother hesitated. Courtney had her whole life ahead of her. “I needed to know that she can have babies. She can bungee jump. She can do whatever she wants,” Jackie said. Reassured, the kidney transplant surgery was scheduled at AdventHealth Orlando. “We were just excited. I mean, scared, scared to death, anxious with, you know, it’s a scary process,” Courtney said. Courtney said she wanted to give something of herself to the person who gave her everything. “I was a little overwhelmed with the anesthesia, but my first thought was that I wanted to see my mom,” Courtney said. “When you walked in, I could say, ‘Oh my God, it’s going to be okay,'” Jackie said. There was no guarantee that Jackie’s body would accept the kidney, but doctors said Jackie almost immediately began to heal. “They don’t take out your kidneys. They just add the supplement which is amazing. I named it Sydney the Kidney,” Jackie said. Jackie had to quarantine herself after the operation with a weakened immune system, but she still found a way to thank her donor. She had a surprise sign hung in her daughter’s garden: “My hero. My donor.” “I was afraid of living in a world without my mother. So if I could do something that could change that outcome for us, then why not now?” said Courtney. Now Courtney and Jackie still have their whole lives ahead of them. “You are my Powerball. You have one chance in life to be lucky, and you were. Thank you. I love you,” Jackie said. Jackie actually left the house for the first time on Thursday night since her operation in July. Mom, dad and daughter went to see “Hamilton”. They hope their story will inspire others to donate. AdventHealth’s Transplant Institute is the only transplant program in Central Florida.

Imagine your life is at stake and you ask complete strangers to save your life. This is what a person who needs an organ transplant does every day.

As a wife, mother and kindergarten teacher, Jackie Rothermich had a full life. But last year, Jackie needed someone to help save her life.

She recorded and posted a video on Facebook asking someone to donate a kidney. She included a jingle as she often used in class.

“All I want for Christmas is a new kidney. You could be a living donor and change things for me,” she sang.

After 30 years of teaching, Jackie was diagnosed with kidney failure. Doctors said she only had a few months to find a donor.

“I was going through things, like okay, ‘my will is in order. Who gets what, jewelry-wise? It was the scariest time of my life,” she said.

No one was willing or able to give in in time. The family was now considering palliative care.

Courtney Rothermich, Jackie’s 26-year-old daughter, decided she wanted to donate.

“I can’t imagine a world without her. I wasn’t ready to imagine a world without her or a world where her quality of life was so different from what she had hoped for,” Courtney said.

After months of testing, Courtney has proven to be a match. But her mother hesitated. Courtney had her whole life ahead of her.

“I needed to know that she can have babies. She can bungee jump. She can do whatever she wants,” Jackie said.

Reassured, the kidney transplant surgery was scheduled at AdventHealth Orlando.

“We were just excited. I mean, scared, scared to death, anxious with, you know, it’s a scary process,” Courtney said.

Courtney said she wanted to give something of herself to the person who gave her everything.

“I was a little overwhelmed with the anesthesia, but my first thought was that I wanted to see my mom,” Courtney said.

“When you walked in, I could say, ‘Oh my God, it’s going to be okay,'” Jackie said.

There was no guarantee that Jackie’s body would accept the kidney, but doctors said Jackie almost immediately began to heal.

“They don’t take out your kidneys. They just add the supplement which is amazing. I named it Sydney the Kidney,” Jackie said.

Jackie had to quarantine herself after surgery with a weakened immune system, but she still found a way to thank her donor.

She had a surprise sign installed in her daughter’s garden: “My hero. My donor.

“I was afraid of living in a world without my mother. So if I could do something that could change that outcome for us, then why not now?” said Courtney.

Now Courtney and Jackie still have their whole lives ahead of them.

“You are my Powerball. You have one chance in life to be lucky, and you were. Thank you. I love you,” Jackie said.

Jackie actually left the house for the first time on Thursday night since her operation in July. Mom, dad and daughter went to see “Hamilton”.

They hope their story will inspire others to donate.

AdventHealth’s Transplant Institute is the only transplant program in Central Florida.


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