Adam Snider - MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) - She's lived her life bringing medical aid to those in need, and now a Murfreesboro nurse is in desperate need of surgery and help herself.
Wendy Shirey has worked in nursing 25 years, fighting her own kidney disease for 20. Her fight has now reached a critical junction.
Her family is a mainstay at the Murfreesboro Medical Clinic.
"My grandmother was a nurse here," explained Shirey, who's an LPN in Internal Medicine. "My mother was a nurse here for 30 years, I'm a nurse now for almost 25 years, and my daughter, she's also working part time here."
For Shirey, it's the patents patients that bring her back year after year.
"I love talking with patients," she said. "With what's going on with me, I feel like I can relate to patients more."
Shirey has been battling kidney disease since 1998 after she was diagnosed with minimal change disease.
Her hands these days are often bruised due to a slew of procedures.
"My kidneys are functioning between 8 to 10 percent, and for someone my age it should be at 90 percent," said Shirey. "I keep trying to come to work every day, just to keep my mind and not feel down and depressed."
Her fight has now spilled into Murfreesboro. Posters magnets and cards can be spotted on several businesses walls and doors. The items are calling for donors with A or O blood.
Now weeks away from the holidays, Shirey's in search of this special gift, hoping a kind stranger will be willing to donate.
"Anybody can be a donor, not just for me, but anybody," said Shirey. "Living donors are the best, and a patient only needs one kidney."
Shirey is a patient with Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The procedure for a donor to be approved is lengthy, but is paid for by Shirey's insurance. Anyone seeking information should contact Vanderbilt at 615-936-0695.