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'I found a match': Ottawa mom finds kidney donor after CTV News Ottawa story

When Alejandra Zetino made a public plea for a living kidney donor on CTV News in the summer of 2021, she hoped she would find one but did not expect it to happen so fast.  

"This is something that I thought maybe one day in another universe would happen but to happen to me I couldn't believe it," Zetino said.  

At the time her story aired, Zetino's kidney function was at 12 per cent and doctors told her she likely had four months left with her own kidneys before dialysis would be necessary. 

Zetino was born with a gene mutation that was triggered by her pregnancy a few years ago and she was diagnosed with Alport syndrome—a disease that damages the tiny blood vessels in your kidneys.  

She turned to social media and spoke with CTV News Ottawa to try and find someone who may be a match. Andrea McClymont of Renfrew was one of many who saw her story.  

 "I couldn't sleep, so I was scrolling through my phone reading CTV News and I saw this story and I just instantly felt a connection," McClymont said. "I sent my daughter a text and said, 'Can you reach out to this girl for me and let her know that I'm willing to try this process.'" 

Tests confirmed Zetino and McClymont were a match and after a delay, the transplant surgery took place this April.  

"It was actually very easy," said McClymont. "You go in, you have your surgery, [are] well-taken care of, the staff was phenomenal, went home in two days and felt perfectly fine other than a little bit tired." 

 More than 4,000 people in Canada are waiting for organ donation and about 77 per cent of those are waiting for kidneys.  

"If Aley and I hadn't been a match, there is a paired kidney program so either way someone was going to benefit from this and I think that's really important for people to know," said McClymont. "We were grateful that we had a match but there are many people who need this and honestly the process is really quite easy, much easier than I thought it was going to be." 

Zetino says she's feeling great post-surgery too. 

"I was just sleeping most of my days away so now I'm awake all the time, I'm working a full-time job, I'm able to be present with my daughter, do things I love to do, go for walks I'm not winded all the time," Zetino said. "I'm mesmerized by her and her grace and her generosity and everything she's done. She's just the most incredible person to me." 

The two have stayed in touch with Zetino's daughter giving McClymont a stuffed bear with a recording of her voice saying thank you for saving her mom.  

"It's so beyond rewarding," McClymont said. And I think it's been as important for me as it has been for Aley and to hear that she may be able to have another child…to give somebody the opportunity to give life is amazing." Top Stories


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