Claiborne Co. woman uses Facebook in search for new kidney

12:05 AM, Feb 18, 2013   |    comments
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Erica Morse is looking for someone to give her the gift of life. 

The 25-year old Claiborne County woman needs a new kidney, and has turned to Facebook to find a donor.

"She was born with quite a bit of birth defects," said Morse's mother, Kathy Mills. "She's gone through about 35 surgeries in her life, and her kidney was cystic when she was born."

As Erica grew, her kidney didn't and it caused further  complications. When she was 11 years old her father, Rick Morse, gave her one of his kidneys.

Mills remembers the stress of having both her loved ones hospitalized.

"Here I had him going in and her going in and the only thing I can remember him saying is 'take care of my baby' as he was wheeled off. He said 'don't let her die'."  

After the transplant, Morse lived a relatively normal life. She graduated from high school and college, and is now engaged to be married.

However, her transplanted organ is now losing its ability to function, putting her back in a dangerous position.

Finding another donor has proved difficult, because none of Morse's relatives are able to donate for various medical reason.

Instead Morse turned to social media to find her match, creating a Facebook page, "Find a Kidney for Erica." The page has collected more than 170 "likes" in just a few days.

"I have had several offers, but nobody has come through, which hurts more than anything. You try not to get your hopes up, but it's hard not to," said Morse, who's blood type is O+.

Morse is on dialysis for now. She's hoping to find a living donor because she says living organs last longer than organs taken from cadavers.

Anyone interested in donating can find out if they're a match by calling the UT Medical Center's Center for Transplant Services at865-305-9236.

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