Woman donates kidney to save brother's life - FOX 32 News Chicago

Woman donates kidney to save brother's life

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A 21-year-old woman made a personal sacrifice and donated one of her kidneys to save her brother's life.

Even at 17, Jake Jacobi knows his sister Jamie gave him the ultimate gift: the gift of life.  Jamie, a senior at Georgia Southern University gave one of her kidneys to her baby brother last June.

"I just felt like it was the right thing to do. I know he would do it for me and my other siblings would. I know that God wanted me to do it. It was just all the right direction… was pointing the right way," said Jamie Jacobi.

Jake was born with one kidney. The Jacobis always knew that one day he would need a  transplant.

"It was like a gray cloud that followed us around our whole life, that one day it was going to have to happen and the day it came we were all basically numb," said John Jacobi.

It wasn't until last January when Jake's kidney started to fail.

The student-athlete at Greater Atlanta Christian had to miss classes and withdraw from sports, the one thing he loved.

"My life just pretty much ended. I had to quit everything, just to school and come home and sleep," said Jake Jacobi.

Jake's health declined rapidly and it became a race against time.  His parents volunteered to be donors but when Jamie stepped up, doctors said the testing process would move quicker with a younger person.

Lori and John Jacobi said at first they were proud but torn; they didn't want two kids in the hospital.

"You wonder sometimes how good of a parent you really are, but when you see something like this happen and your daughter sacrifice her own life to help her brother, it makes you feel pretty good," said John Jacobi.

On June 29, the brother and sister went in for the procedure at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. The road to recovery has been long, more so for Jake. But now, months later, he said that he's feeling better than ever.

"I'm swimming again. I'm doing lacrosse in the spring because I can now play contact sports. I feel great. I feel better than I have ever in my entire life," said Jake Jacobi.

Just before the holidays, the Jacobis went back for a checkup, what they saw was amazing.

"It was so surreal looking at that screen and seeing Jamie's kidney in Jake, working and functioning. We're just very, very thankful," said Lori Jacobi.

The Jacobis say they had a lot to celebrate this past Christmas. Instead of exchanging presents, the family sailed to the Virgin Islands.

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