Getting my Life Back

By Barbara Archer

My story starts when I was a little girl at age five, inFebruary 1946 my Right Kidney was found to be Infantile and had to be removed, they told me that I could live a long life with only one kidney. However in 1959 I underwent Exploratory of left Kidney do too many Bladder infections (they found nothing)

Then in 1961 they found a pocket that was left behind when they removed the Right Kidney that  was causing the Bladder infections, and required a Diverticulum's to remove. With this corrected I was back to normal. On February 17, 1962 I married Ken, Yep that’s right now were Barbie & Ken. Together we had three wonderful sons Unfortunately we lost our first son to SIDS only 12 weeks old. But we just keep plugging along. With life’s normal ups and downs until May 1994 when I had a Stroke from High Blood Pressure that paralyzed my right side, Thanks to Hartford Hospital, the wonderful support from Ken and a year of relearning to talk, walk and write I was able to recover most of the functions I lost.


The future was looking bright again until a routine checkup showed my only kidney was starting to fail and I would soon be on Dialysis, and by January of 2004 I was. After checking my whole family for a posable donor the Hospital rejected everyone for one reason or another and was placed on the transplant waiting list.

This began 4 years of waiting. Not wanting to go anywhere for fear we would miss The Call. About one year into this we received The Call, they had a kidney and to come to the hospital. We dropped everything and started the 42 mile trip only to get about half way and receive a second call telling us to go home that the kidney did not meet the hospital standards for transplant. So home we went and continued waiting. In Nov 2007 just after Thanksgiving The Call came again, this time we made it to the hospital and started prepping for surgery, but again the kidney did not meet the hospital standards so home we went. On Friday December 7, 2007 The Call came again this time it was a good kidney and by 8pm I had received my new kidney from a unknown Donor. By the way I Nick Named it Joey but that’s a different story.

Well it’s been over 4 years now since receiving The Gift Of Life and I am feeling the best I have ever felt since it all began 10 years ago. I just want to hug the family of my donor and thank them for allowing the transplant to happen, giving me back my life.

While attending the Hartford Hospital support group and Donate Life functions we learned about Transplant Team of Connecticut. Ken and I joined them in January of 2010 and attended the 2010 games in Madison WI. An experience we will never forget. In 2011, I was invited to join the Hartford Hospital Transplant Program Patient Advisory Board and accepted.  

On Febuary 17, 2012 Ken and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. 


Knowing what a transplant did for Barbie,  Kens nephew Walter Archer became a Organ donor and in  Januray 2013  he was able to donated many of his organs on his passing.

Thank You Wally