Kidney Transplant Leads to a Big Splash

Four times a week Karen Goldthwaite turns into a fish as she glides through the pool. Wearing a brightly colored swimsuit, she uses different strokes and water exercise tools to vary her routine as she swims a mile to 1.5 miles at the Carter Rehabilitation and Fitness Center indoor pool in Fort Worth.

In the pool, Karen looks like every other female swimmer there. But she’s different: Karen is a kidney transplant recipient.

Five years ago through the local organ bank, Karen received a new kidney at Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth from an anonymous organ donor.

Gone were her days of dragging herself out of bed, sick from renal failure. While working as a third grade teacher, Karen struggled through the day, literally collapsing into her bed at the end of each day.

Now active again and still teaching, Karen swims for herself, her health and to honor the anonymous organ donor who gave her a new kidney and a new life.

“I owed it to them to take the very best care of my kidney I possibly could, so that it would sustain me in my life,” Goldthwaite says.

“You really do have a whole new life again after a transplant.”

Whether or not you’re a transplant recipient, swimming is good medicine. According to Women’s Health Magazine, no other workout burns calories, boosts metabolism, and firms every muscle in your body (without putting stress on your joints) better than a swimming workout.

So Karen, swim on with your new health and new kidney.

There are thousands of potential Karen’s on the national waiting list for kidneys because the number of deceased kidney donations falls far short of the need. Be a Lifesaver, Be an Organ Donor. To learn more about organ donation, click here.

About the author

Susan Hall
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Susan joined Baylor many years ago when Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas was the only Baylor facility in the area. When not at work, she’s outside – Big Bend National Park is her favorite with Glacier National Park a close second.

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Kidney Transplant Leads to a Big Splash