When Jody Balaun was 32 years old and pregnant with her daughter, she was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a genetic disease she inherited from her father's side of the family. With PKD, noncancerous sacs of water-like fluid grow on the kidneys, and in Jody's case on her liver. When these cysts become too large they cause high blood pressure, back or side pain and a swollen abdomen.
At the age of 50, Jody's symptoms became so severe that she began a pain management therapy program. After several years, she was referred to Dr. Thomas Heffron and Dr. Clark Kulig for treatment. Although her kidney was doing well, she was put on the waiting list for a liver transplant. In February 2016 she received a call from the Presbyterian/St. Luke's Transplant Team that would change her life – a donor had been found. Throughout her journey, Jody could not have been more impressed with the compassion, communication and team approach to care at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center.