Israeli teen travels to Minnesota for kidney transplant, donor - KMSP-TV

Israeli teen travels to Minnesota, finds kidney donor no longer a match

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Just one day before her kidney transplant surgery was set to take place, doctors determined a teen from halfway around the world is no longer a match with her donor -- but she's staying because of hope.

Sarah Zalaznik, 15, flew from Israel to have her surgery in Minnesota because her families believed the doctors in the Twin Cities are among the best in the world. Now that they've seen a setback, however, the family is desperate to find a new donor before time runs out.

Zalaznik struggles with a medical condition called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, also known as FSGS.

"Just because I feel good doesn't mean my kidneys are functioning well," she said.

In fact, the disease is shutting down her kidneys. That's why she and her mother flew in for a planned, live kidney donor transplant at the University of Minnesota's Amplatz Children's Hospital that was scheduled for Friday.

The donor, a 32-year-old Israeli man, also flew in; however, doctors who conducted more blood work had to tell Zalaznik that the two are no longer a match.

"It was not good," she said. "I felt very sad and I don't know what to do."

FOX 9 News reached out to the hospital to learn what happened, but they declined to comment. Zalaznik's mother, Dassie, admitted to FOX 9 News she's confused because other tests showed a positive ma.

"It wasn't a mistake," Dassie Zalaznik insisted. "Everything looked good, but the final testing -- it showed 'not compatible.'"

Complicating matters is the fact that Zalaznik's body is more likely to reject an organ because of the antibodies she developed, but anyone with an A or O blood type can be tested as a potential match.

The family is no stranger to tough trials. At just 6 months old, a virus attacked her kidneys, leading to her first transplant. Despite that, she lived a relatively normal life before her kidney problems returned -- and she wants to continue.

"She should grow up like the rest of her friends and be happy and good and get married, have a family," Dassie Zalaznik said.

The Zalazniks plan to stay in Minnesota until a donor is found. For more information on how to help, click here:

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