By Brittany Glaser
SULPHUR, La. (KPLC/CNN) - A Louisiana woman who has endured four kidney transplants is now in need of a fifth. But getting that fifth kidney may not be a possibility.
An old newspaper clipping brings now 37-year-old Amy Hastings McGee of Sulphur back to a time of promise after a life-changing diagnosis of end stage renal disease.
"They discovered that I was obviously born with only one kidney. That kidney disintegrated as I grew older," said Amy.
That one working kidney was only functioning at five percent, the size of a sweet pea, but serving the role of filtering toxins out of the entire body.
"Any waste that you may have in your body. Anything you eat or drink, your kidneys balance that out," said Amy.
Amy's failing kidney could not do the job, and at age 11, she had her first kidney transplant.
"Here I was in Sulphur, Louisiana. I got a call to go to New Orleans where I got a cadaver kidney from a little boy in Pine Bluff," said Amy.
That kidney lasted for two years, then began failing.
Her second transplant would come from her sister, holly, and would last four years.
Just as high school graduation approached, Amy underwent her third kidney transplant.
"That made me healthy again quickly and within a month I was going to Louisiana Tech on orientation," said Amy.
She nearly made it through her college years without needing another transplant, but for the third time, her donor kidney failed.
Getting a fourth kidney took a fight.
"I found a very sweet doctor and he pled my case for me and he got me that kidney and that kidney lasted a few more years," said Amy.
Four transplants, 25 years of kidney disease and 15 years of dialysis have worn down Amy's body. The nation's leading transplant team has denied her candidacy for a fifth transplant, but she says "no" is not an answer she's willing to accept.
"It doesn't matter where I have to go, what I have to do, it's my life and no doctor is going to change that," said Amy.
Amy, her husband, Josh, and their four inherited children from Amy's late sister say they'll do whatever it takes to get the transplant.
In the meantime, Amy is kept alive by blood cleaning hemo-dialysis 20 hours a week.
"What scares me is the reality of what can happen whenever your body is no longer ready to be a dialysis patient," said Amy.
There's no timeline on how long dialysis might work for Amy.
A fifth kidney transplant would mean Amy could once again be dialysis-free.
"I expect Amy to get a transplant. I expect her to do things I've never seen her do before," said Josh.
"When I look at my kids and my husband and all the great things God has for me out there, I know that he's not finished with me yet," said Amy.
So the battle will wage on, for another transplant and another chance at life.
She will undergo a final round of tests at a Houston hospital this month to possibly be added to the kidney transplant wait list.