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19-year-old with end stage renal failure gets unexpected phone call before Christmas

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BYRON, Minn. (KTTC) -

The phone call came on a Wednesday.  "We told just about everyone," said Martina Goodman.

19-year-old Martina Goodman has been on a kidney transplant list for a little over a year. "My dad got tested a couple months ago. We found out 2 weeks ago he could do it."

John Goodman, Martina's father, was a positive match for a kidney, which took her off the transplant list. "I was excited about that, [to be able to] give my daughter my own kidney," said John Goodman.

The odds have always seemed to be against Martina. "When I was born I was diagnosed with Mosaic Trisomy 22, which is a chromosome disorder. Its caused a bunch of other health problems," said Martina.

The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) defines Mosaic Trisomy 22 as a rare chromosomal disorder where chromosome 22 appears three times rather than twice in some cells of the body. Characteristic features typically include growth delays, mental retardation, unequal development of the two sides of the body, and webbing of the neck. Affected individuals may also have abnormal outward deviation of the elbows upon extension, multiple pigmented moles or birthmarks, distinctive malformations of the head and facial area, and other physical abnormalities.

Martina has had about 15 major surgeries, including three bladder surgeries, a hernia, heart surgery, and two spine surgeries. Her right leg was lengthened and her left leg was shortened, which is a characteristic of Mosaic Trisomy 22.

"When I was pregnant with her I was offered an abortion because the doctors didn't know what the outcome of her life would be," said Pollie Goodman, Martina's mother. "We were told she wouldn't live past 6 months."

That's where the Goodman's faith in God takes over. "Nineteen years later we still have our miracle," said Pollie Goodman. "I'm a firm believer in God. I just think God has a reason for everything," said Martina.

Martina's faith is being tested now more than ever. On Monday, she got a second call from doctors. "I saw the call and thought, 'Ok we're going to schedule the date.' She said there was antibodies in your blood that work against yours.'"

Which meant her father was no longer a match for a kidney, putting Martina back on the transplant list.

Martina's father recalled the moment she received that phone call. "We were sitting on the couch. I saw her tearing up, and we just held each other."

Martina's transplant surgery was scheduled for January 11, 2017, but if she cannot find a match by then she will go on dialysis.

Whether or nor Martina gets a new set of kidneys, the Goodman family remains optimistic.  "One thing that keeps us going is laughter," said Pollie.

Laughter, they say, is the best medicine. 

Though obstacles lie ahead, love binds them together. "I always tell her, because she's so tiny, Martina, although I literally look down to you, I look up to you. And I tell her she's my hero, and she is because I get my courage from her."


 

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