GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Jan. 4, 2024) –
Two Exactech employees who were once strangers, cried in each other’s arms the day of their kidney transplant surgery.
That day, Exactech Packaging Lead Adrianne LaMontagne was having one of her kidneys removed, and Exactech Quality Validation Engineer Sarah Shkrab was receiving a life-saving kidney.
While Shkrab didn’t technically receive LaMontagne’s kidney even with them being a match, LaMontagne did help Shkrab receive a kidney donor quicker by joining an exchange program.
“She had an antigen which I had an antibody to, so they were worried about a higher chance of rejection” Shkrab said. “Because of that they said they would prefer that she not donate directly to me, but that she could go into the exchange program.”
I have something that I can live without and live a normal, happy, healthy life. If I can help somebody to regain their life and be able to do things they want to do, that’s really my motivation
The process of donating a kidney and going through the exchange program was considered a selfless, noble act by LaMontagne because at the time she offered to donate her kidney, she and Shkrab were practically strangers. Both had worked together over the years, but they did not know each other personally.
Even though LaMontagne did not personally know Shkrab, LaMontagne saw this as an opportunity to help someone in need and be a part of improving their life.
“I have something that I can live without and live a normal, happy, healthy life. If I can help somebody to regain their life and be able to do things they want to do, that’s really my motivation,” LaMontagne said.
Once on home dialysis treatments to manage a hereditary kidney disease, Shkrab was required to do three treatments a day to filter the toxins out of her kidney. She also had to be close to home, work shorter hours and was limited in the activities she could do.
Now, she is relieved that she no longer needs dialysis treatments, and she can live her life the way she wants to. She can do activities she couldn’t do before and make plans for the future.
“We [Shkrab and her husband] can actually plan for the future because we know what is going to happen. Especially the thought of having kids and things like that,” Shkrab said. “When Adrianne says she gave me my life back, it’s an understatement.”
Even now, LaMontagne is glad she was able to help Shkrab and have a positive impact on her life by donating her kidney.
“I never regretted it because it was always in the back of my mind that this is for Sarah. Even still to this day, she will tell me ‘I just went to work out, I went swimming, or I went to Disney.’ She got her life back, so it was worth it in my eyes,” LaMontagne said.
Exactech is a global medical device company that develops and markets orthopaedic implant devices, related surgical instruments and the Active Intelligence® platform of smart technologies to hospitals and physicians. Headquartered in Gainesville, Fla., Exactech markets its products in the United States, in addition to more than 30 markets in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific. Visit www.exac.com for more information and connect with us on LinkedIn, VuMedi, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. With Exactech by your side, you’ve got EXACTLY what you need.