The North Bend Eagle


Hartman takes part in kidney exchange chain

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 9/12/18

JoLynn Hartman has been a registered nurse for 30-plus years. She has worked in labor and delivery and pediatrics, helping in the birth and care of newborns and taking care of little ones.

Tracy Preissler and JoLynn Hartman have worked together for a number of years. Their friendship lead Hartman to donate a kidney to Preissler.

Tracy Preissler of Hooper was trained in labor and delivery at the Fremont hospital by Hartman three years ago. They formed a friendship.
Recently, that friendship was taken to a new level when Hartman, 54, gave one of her kidneys for Preissler.

Preissler, 52, has had chronic kidney disease since 1997. Her doctor finally told her the disease had advanced to the stage where she needed to get on the transplant list. She went to work for the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift, taking over after Hartman’s day shift.

“She was upset and crying,” Hartman said. “She told me, ‘Well, I need to find a donor.’ I said I’d donate for her.”

Preissler remembers Hartman saying she’d donate without hesitation. Both women are only children and Preissler did not have a family member who could donate.

“She’s an amazing woman,” Preissler said of Hartman.

So Hartman began the process in March.

She went to the Nebraska Medicine organ donation web site and filled out forms to be a living donor. She was sent a packet of papers to fill out and had some lab work done. She was not a match to donate to Preissler, but said she would donate to someone else if it would help her friend get a kidney sooner. It cost $25,000 to screen for organ donations, so only one person is done at a time for each person needing a transplant. The recipient’s insurance pays for the testing and surgery for donor and recipient.

Preissler said it only took two weeks to find a match for her and one for Hartman.

In June they started hearing about and ‘exchange chain’ where every person needing a donation has a donor, but not for themselves specifically.


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