Utah couple living life to the fullest while awaiting life-saving kidney donation

Posted at 10:03 PM, Nov 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-11 00:03:28-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Lacy Smith is a woman who at the age of 8 was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.

We caught up with Lacy and her husband Sean at her monthly doctor's appointment at the University of Utah.

Smith gets her blood work done each month to see how she's doing. Up until a few years ago, doctors were able to treat Lacy's autoimmune disease with medications, but now she needs a new kidney.

“From what I’ve read the wait is anywhere from 2.5 to 5 years, and I’ve been listed a little over two years, so hopefully I don’t have to wait too much longer,” Lacy Smith said.

While Lacy looks healthy, she showed us where she has to hook herself up to a dialysis machine for nine hours every night, a lengthy process that keeps her alive.

“It’s peritoneal dialysis, so you fill your peritoneum—the membrane—with dialysis solutions that basically absorbs toxins from your blood,” Smith explained.

Lacy works part time and focuses on staying healthy, so when a kidney comes she'll be ready. Her husband Sean is her biggest supporter.

“She's very diligent of taking care of herself, they say I’m the caregiver but I really just back her up,” Sean Smith said. “Like she said, it's a full-time job for her."

Lacy and Sean got married four years ago. They said they made the decision not to let her illness stop them from doing what they enjoy.

“I want to live, I have stuff to do, I don’t have time to be sick,” Lacy Smith said. “I have traveling I want to do with my husband, and I’m not going to let this disease take away my quality of life.”

Peritoneal dialysis allows them to travel. Lacy's dialysis machine and medications have gone with them to places like Las Vegas, Memphis and Orlando.

But it's not all good times. As they wait for a life-saving kidney donation, this young couple has had to have some tough conversations.

“If something happens while I’m in surgery, or, you know, these are things most couples probably don't talk about, but it's something we talk about all the time,” Lacy Smith said.

Anyone can be a living kidney donor, contact Intermountain Donor Services if you're interested. And don't forget to check yes on your driver’s license to be an organ donor.