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Idaho Falls woman finds kidney donor after two-year search

By Luke Jones
Published On: Mar 05 2014 06:57:21 PM CST

Twenty-six-year-old Kristin Thomas is recovering from a kidney transplant that she said she spent two years wondering if she would ever receive. Luke Jones reports.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Kristin Thomas is recovering from a kidney transplant that she said she spent two years wondering if she would ever receive.

"With every other day that passed, it just seemed like I was getting discouraged, that it was never going to happen, and I was never going to be able to be a normal 26-year-old,” said Thomas.

Local News 8 first told you about Thomas in 2012 after she discovered her kidney had failed. Her prayers were finally answered last month when a donor came forward.

"I can't even tell you how excited I was,” said Thomas.

Thomas went to the University of Utah and had the transplant. When she met her donor, Lanie Compton, a few days after the surgery, Thomas said there was an instant connection.

"It was like seeing someone that you've known for a really long time and you just haven't seen forever,” said Thomas.

Thomas and Compton keep in touch, exchanging text messages and phone calls on a daily basis.

“It was just totally a God thing,” said Compton.

Thomas arrived home in Idaho Falls on Tuesday, and is now embarking on the long road to recovery, which means, among other things, drinking plenty of fluids.

"They like to trick the kidney into thinking that it's not in a foreign place, so they like you to give it as much work as possible,” said Thomas.

Thomas said her friends continue to provide her with support.

"She doesn't lead on that anything is ever wrong with her so it's been pretty easy. Nothing really traumatic,” said Heidi Andrews.

In the near future, Thomas said she plans on returning to school to study nursing.

"I feel like I would be able to connect with patients a little bit more than the average nurse just because most people don't go through what I've been through in my life,” said Thomas.

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