Sarnia, Ont. woman searches for organ transplant match on social media

A Sarnia, Ont. woman is searching for an organ donor via social media, after her kidneys started failing for a second time at the beginning of 2019.

“It affects me all week long. I never get a break and that is just what I am looking for.”

It all started 35 years ago, when Heather Williamson visited a farm for a field trip with her school.

She and her classmates were welcomed with glasses of milk.

Unknowingly, the glass of milk was infected with E.coli and the then five-year-old Williamson was sent to the hospital where she was first put on dialysis.

After overcoming the initial hospital visit, Williamson had a relatively normal life until her kidneys started to fail for a second time in 2019.

Since then, she has spent three out of seven days in hospital on dialysis, a medical treatment that cleans the blood of toxins since the kidney no longer does it naturally.

Heather Williamson undergoes dialysis in this undated image.

“Every other day having to go to the hospital, today is a washout because I had dialysis yesterday. Two needles every other day in my arm, it's hard on the whole entire body…I just want a normal life.”

Forty-year-old Williamson, who is known for helping others, finds it difficult to ask people for help.

But now she is overwhelmed by the number of inquiries she is getting after she started her Facebook group, Kidney for Heather.

The group was created to help find a willing and able organ donor to help Williamson get off dialysis for good.

“Everyday I read the messages and I am just taken aback, I can’t believe it, it gives me hope.”

A message posted to Heather Williamson's Facebook group 'Kidney for Heather.'

Williamson says she was just recently added to the transplant waitlist at the Living Organ Transplant Centre at London Health Sciences Centre.

She says the wait time for a transplant is upwards of three years.

If she was able to find a willing donor in the coming months, she could be off dialysis after just over a year.