Sudden Kidney Failure Leads To New Lease On Life For Texas A&M Student

Sudden Kidney Failure Leads To New Lease On Life For Texas A&M Student

Andrea Nuñez on the campus of Texas A&M College on April 12, 2022.

Laura McKenzie/Texas A&M University Division of Promoting & Communications


When Texas A&M College student Andrea Nuñez last spring started going through lingering signs or symptoms that she could not demonstrate, she didn’t feel it was an crisis. She exercised often and thought she was healthy, and given that the pandemic commenced she’d skilled a variety of indicators she thought have been relevant to feeding on a lot less wholesome for the duration of lockdown. But when she commenced battling to retain up with coursework and would snooze for extended durations just about every day, she realized anything else was mistaken.

Nuñez, a very first technology university student from Brownsville, Texas, majoring in industrial and units engineering, made a decision to visit Pupil Health and fitness Products and services (SHS), the on-campus health care supplier for Aggie students.

Priscilla Cardenas and Andrea Nuñez

Priscilla Cardenas (left) donated her kidney to Andrea Nuñez.

Courtesy image

There she noticed Claire Kolb, a board qualified doctor assistant, who quickly understood a thing was completely wrong because of to Nuñez’ seriously elevated blood pressure and other symptoms.

Kolb and the SHS professional medical workforce initiated emergent protocols and administered medication to aid decreased her blood stress and lower nervousness even so, her blood strain remained elevated.

“The nurse asked me to sit there and do some respiratory workout routines to quiet me down but nothing was functioning,” Nuñez claimed. “Nothing would decrease my blood strain.”

When Nuñez’ blood stress did not boost, Kolb requested speedy blood get the job done and even more testing to assess the severity of the condition. Blood get the job done results showed that Nuñez was in acute kidney failure, with her kidneys functioning at only 16% of usual.

With coordination in between SHS employees and regional wellbeing means, Nuñez was hospitalized and used days at St. Joseph Well being Regional Clinic in Bryan. She been given a kidney biopsy that verified an acute kidney failure diagnosis ensuing from Lupus, an autoimmune disease that happens when the body’s immune system attacks its possess tissues and organs. It was determined she required at kidney transplant and established about discovering a donor.

Weeks turned into months till the excellent donor was observed. Out of a big team of good friends and household who were interested in remaining a donor, the great match came from a family buddy, Priscilla Cardenas. Cardenas explained she is thankful to God for this lovely knowledge that assisted to help save Nuñez’ life, and now considers Nuñez – who she phone calls “Andy” –  as a single of her possess daughters.

“When we depart this existence, what will we get with us?” Cardenas asked. “That is why I did it. I want Andy to make all her plans and dreams occur legitimate. I want her to be everything she needs to be. I want her to be the finest engineer at her aspiration career. I want her to get married and have youngsters, and I want to get care of her kids. I want her to dwell her everyday living to the fullest like if none of this would have took place.”

Nuñez said she selected to prioritize her health and fitness for the duration of a active and complicated time in her life, which resulted in her earning the challenging decision to leave Texas A&M in July 2021. Her intention was to return to go after her scientific tests immediately after her wellbeing enhanced, not understanding when that would be feasible.

Restoration and the Street Back again to Aggieland

Just after a effective six-hour transplant operation in September 2021 at Methodist Hospital Specialty and Transplant Clinic in San Antonio, Nuñez commenced transitioning to a new normal with her wellness and she returned to Texas A&M this semester. Back in Aggieland, she is not only excelling in her coursework, but her high quality of daily life has drastically enhanced.

“I did not know I was that sick until eventually I was this healthier,” she reported. “I acquired to put myself to start with. I realized that school is significant but it’s not as significant as our overall health.”

Nuñez’ believes her story will deliver hope to other people who may perhaps be going by way of a related problem or are obtaining it difficult to hold up with coursework due to the fact of a health-related affliction. She is quick to realize that Kolb saved her existence, and she is grateful for the aid and neighborhood means that assisted her get care and assisted in the course of her restoration.

Texas A&M University student Andrea Nuñez stands between Diana Bigley, LVN, and Claire Kolb, a board certified physician assistant, at Student Health Services (SHS), the on-campus healthcare provider for Texas A&M University students, at the A.P. Beutel Health Center on April 12, 2022.

Texas A&M University scholar Andrea Nuñez stands among Diana Bigley, LVN, and Claire Kolb, a board certified health practitioner assistant, at College student Overall health Providers (SHS), the on-campus health care company for Texas A&M University college students, at the A.P. Beutel Health Center on April 12, 2022.

Laura McKenzie/Texas A&M College Division of Advertising and marketing & Communications


She expects to graduate in May 2023 and ideas to show up at graduate school and with any luck , one particular working day function at Disney. She explained she chooses to discover pleasure and reminds herself everyday to concentration on what seriously issues.

“Nothing is much more vital than on your own and your pleasure,” she said. “That also incorporates your wellness, so acquire time to breathe, to have pleasurable, to be with your friends and family, and reside this lifestyle to the fullest.”

If you are having difficulties with your well being, really don’t delay searching for care. There are a variety of resources readily available for college students at Texas A&M College:

A whole list of health and fitness sources can be identified on-line at

Guidance the Texas A&M College student Wellness Heart. Give online now.

Watch a Spanish version of this tale.