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SCAT Member Receives Kidney Transplant From Another SCAT Member

Sheldon, Iowa — With so much bad in the news in recent months, we wanted to bring you a story that is positive and uplifting. This is a story of two friends and colleagues, one of whom went under the knife to help the other.

Ardis Bonestroo has been saving lives through her service with the Sheldon Community Ambulance Team for about 30 years, and earlier this week received the gift of life from her friend, and fellow SCAT volunteer, Dianne Wolthuizen, when Wolthuizen donated a kidney to Bonestroo.

KIWA talked to Wolthuizen, and she told us how the transplant came about.

(As above) “It was in January or February, we were talking, Ardis was talking a little bit about that she needed a kidney, or…she was talking about mainly going on dialysis, that she had to have a fistula put in so that she could go on dialysis in the future. And then we kind of let it lay there. She was talking about how they have to do a living donor, it has to be somebody with the right blood type, and that kind of stuff. I said, ‘What do you have to do to be a donor?’  She said, ‘Yeah, there’s a bunch of stuff.” So I said, ‘I’ll look into it and see what there is.’ It ended up, after a lot of tests, that we did match and they chose her to be the one I could give it to.”

The odds of two friends who volunteer with the same small-town ambulance service actually being a match is astronomical. In fact, Bonestroo’s own brother went through testing and was determined to not be a compatible match for his sister. Wolthuizen credits the fact that she and Bonestroo were a match to Divine intervention.

(As above) “It totally was just God pushing it through. Everything just went perfectly, there was no stop signs, no nothing, it just all flowed…..except for COVID…..everything got held up for COVID, because we couldn’t do those kinds of surgeries. But then it really moved after that.”

We asked her if she’d had the opportunity to speak with Bonestroo since the surgery.

(As above) “Oh yeah, I’ve seen her. We were right across the hall from each other, and she’s doing very well. The kidney is working very well in her, producing urine, her creatine is down like it’s supposed to be and she’s doing very well.”

Wolthuizen says she’s glad she was able to give this “amazing gift” to her friend and colleague.

(As above) “Well, it’s an amazing gift to give to somebody, that’s for sure. That they can live life to the fullest, hopefully, again. Yeah, there’s pain involved, but you know that’s okay…..it’s okay.”

Wolthuizen has been a SCAT member for the past 13 years, working alongside Bonestroo who has been on SCAT for the past three decades.

Photo above courtesy of the Sheldon Community Ambulance Team…..Dianne Wolthuizen (left) and Ardis Bonestroo (right).

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