Milwaukee judge returns home after kidney transplant

Posted at 6:22 AM, Jul 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-28 07:23:01-04

After a week in the hospital, Milwaukee Judge Derek Mosley is able to return home. He's leaving with a new kidney, donated by his friend, and fellow municipal judge, JoAnn Eiring.

Mosley gets to leave Froedtert Thursday. While the worst part of his health battle is over, he wants to raise awareness about a bigger fight at hand, which he plans to lead the charge on.

Mosley and Eiring are closer than ever, walking together through the hospital with big smiles. Some may consider them an unlikely pair, but they're a perfect match.

"JoAnn has always been a special friend to me," Mosley said. "I don't know what I'm going to do to ever repay her for what she's done for me. She has saved my life. I'll never be able to repay her for that."

"It's scary to be confronted with the fact, that if you don't find someone, you could die," Mosley said. "Doctors say we're going to put you on the list. But you find out the list is so long, that you're about five or six years out from getting the organ you need. That's a long time. I was already doing dialysis every day, for ten hours a day, for the past two years. I don't know if I could last five or six years."

Knowing she eliminated that stress is reward enough for Eiring.

"There's nothing to repay," she said. "It's a great feeling for me. I don't even have words for it. I don't know how to explain it. It's been a powerful experience."

Through their own transplant journey, they've met others still waiting for an organ. Now, their mission is to try and get them help too, before it's too late.

"You don't have to be from the same race," Derek said. "You don't have to be the same gender, you don't even have to be the same size. We prove that. If your numbers are compatible, your numbers are compatible. The more people we can get to go get tested, we can put a significant dent in that list of people waiting for an organ."

Getting an organ from a living donor greatly increases the chance of success, rather than getting an organ from someone who died.

Even if you're not a perfect match for somebody, you may be a "paired" match, which means you can donate an organ to another donor.