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Mother of Three Needs A Kidney

January 26, 2024

When Madonna Caguitla, RN, went for her annual check-up last June, she felt fine. She did her routine blood work and went home to her family.

Later that evening she received a shocking call from her physician: Her blood work showed troubling signs of damage to her kidneys.

Madonna immigrated to Connecticut from the Philippines with her husband in 2002, raising three daughters, now 20, 16 and 11. She worked her way up from charge nurse to director of nursing at Jefferson House, where she continues to care for patients.

Until the phone call from her doctor, Madonna led what she called a normal life, filled with Zumba classes, Korean drama series on TV and road trips with her husband and the girls. After her diagnosis, she said, “it felt like the whole world just fell down on me.”

Her new focus was on eating healthier and exercising daily to avoid dialysis for as long as possible. Her dream of spending Christmas with her daughters and family in the Philippines was put on hold.

As life-changing as the news was, Madonna and her family immediately started doing everything in their power to give her the best possible outcome. Without hesitation, her husband made an appointment to donate a kidney to his wife. Sadly, after some testing, they found he was not a match.

Without a match in her family, Madonna is hoping a stranger, or perhaps an HHC colleague, will help save her life and allow her to achieve her dream of spending next Christmas with her family in the Philippines.

How you can help Madonna and others like her

  1. Consider becoming a living organ donor. It can take years for an organ to become available from a deceased donor through the National Organ Transplant registry. But if a patient has a living donor, the wait time can be just a few months. A living donor transplant is the best option for people with kidney disease.
  2. Share Madonna’s story with other who might consider kidney donation.
  3. Learn about HHC’s living organ donor policy.

Hartford HealthCare provides a six-week enhanced disability benefit paid at a colleague’s regular rate of pay. Colleagues who act as living donors also will not be required to use a week of PTO time before becoming eligible for disability leave. Read the HHC Living Organ Donor Policy and learn more  on the Leaves of Absence page of HHC Connect.

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