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Kidney transplant recipient hopes to head home this week

December 31, 2012
By RENEE PRUSI - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - If all goes well Wednesday, Michelle Mulder could be on her way home.

Mulder of west Ishpeming received a kidney from her sister, Carrie Myotte, on Dec. 19 during transplant surgery at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison.

"I am feeling remarkably well," Mulder said in an interview Sunday. "I got out of the hospital Sunday, Dec. 23. They had me up and walking the first night. They were asking me to walk and the nurse stopped and said 'Wait. You've only been on the floor an hour and a half. You can't walk yet.'

Article Photos

Michelle Mulder, left, and her sister, Carrie Myotte, pose after transplant surgery. Myotte, 31, donated a kidney to Mulder, 33, in surgery performed at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison. (Mulder family photo)

"I was doing so well that I came out of recovery wide awake and ready for the day."

Mulder, 33, had been waiting more than three years for a transplant. She has been undergoing dialysis three times a week for years as she waited for a match. Since she was a teen, Mulder has faced a number of health challenges, including lupus diagnosed when she was a senior in high school in 1997. She was diagnosed with thrombotic thrombopenic purpura, a blood disorder, in 2005, and her other ailments include: having an Adam 13 gene, which is what caused the TTP; rheumatoid arthritis; and Reynaud's syndrome, which is a circulatory system condition that causes extreme sensitivity to cold and heat.

Her younger sister Carrie, 31, turned out to be a match.

"Carrie was let out of the hospital Friday, Dec. 21, and left for home on Monday, Dec. 24," Mulder said. "My mom, dad and brother Phil left that day, too."

Mulder has been staying at a Madison area motel while checking in with her doctors for tests since being discharged.

'I have an appointment (Wednesday) and if (the doctor) thinks I am doing well, then I will be able to leave and not be due back until Feb. 5," she said. "So Lord willing, I will be home Wednesday evening."

Mulder said the care she and her sister received was top-notch.

"The nursing staff on the transplant floor at UW-Madison Hospital and Clinics was amazing," she said. "A big thank you to them and all the staff, especially my coordinator (pre-surgery) Mary Shanahan.

"And quite a few of the staff were Michiganders."

The support she's received, especially from her hometown area near Sault Ste. Marie, has been tremendous, Mulder said.

"That area, especially, the communities have been nothing but supportive," she said. "A special thank you, too, to my family, especially my hubby, Travis, and daughter, Lacey. I couldn't have done any of this without them and their constant support.

"I praise the Lord for the people in my life and for allowing me through such a major surgery. Thank you, too, to my hero, Carrie, for allowing me to have my life back. I love you, Carrie. And thank you to my mom, dad and brother for being there, too."

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253.



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