Best Life: Message in a bottle leads to kidney transplant

Best Life: Message in a bottle leads to kidney transplant

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Today, there are over 100,000 people on the kidney transplant waiting list in the U.S. One woman, already on dialysis, came up with a creative way to find a donor and get the life-saving surgery she needed.

“I wrote ‘My name is Joyce Bacon, I’m in need of a kidney transplant, can someone please help me out?’” said Joyce Bacon Griffin as she recites the words of her dying wish more than three years ago. “I was at the point of needing a kidney transplant."

Not knowing if a donor would be found, Bacon took matters into her own hands. “I came up with this idea that I would type up some letters and make copies. I bought 12 bottles and I tossed them throughout the waterways in Fort Lauderdale,” Bacon told Ivanhoe. Then she tossed in 12 more, praying someone would find her message in a bottle.

Six months later, Kystel Nava, a transplant nurse at Cleveland Clinic Florida was told a female paddleboarder found a bottle with a note in it. “I received a text message from my friend that had seen that a message in a bottle was found,” Nava said. “So she grabbed it, pulled it out, and like all of us she was captivated by the message and posted it on social media.”

Nava’s friend saw the post on Facebook and called her. Then the search was on to find Bacon! “I got a phone call. I got phone calls,” Bacon told Ivanhoe. Bacon’s plea for help had been answered! She was put on the donor waiting list and on July 3rd, 2018 her wish came true!

“While everyone else was celebrating the 4th of July, I was celebrating a new kidney!,” Bacon exclaimed. “It was meant to be, there is a purpose for me, there is a purpose and I believe that truly.” Bacon doesn’t take her gift of life for granted. She travels and spends time with her family. All thanks to a message in a bottle.

The average wait time for a kidney donor can be anywhere from three to five years. It took Bacon three years so she considers herself lucky. Bacon’s advice to other patients out there: you have to be your own advocate. It may not mean putting a message in a bottle but be creative and get your message out on social media. For more information on kidney transplants, please go to www.my.clevelandclinic.org/

Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved. Contributor(s) to this news report include: Janna Ross, Producer; Judy Reich, Videographer; and Roque Correa, Editor.