A trip to the doctor's office for Efren Carranza is less dreadful today than it had been for the last six years when he started experiencing kidney failure.
Carranza said, "It's such a drastic change. You go from being ok to being sick all of a sudden. Your life just falls apart."
Shortly after that, Carranza was put on an organ transplant waitlist and started dialysis three times a week.
Last year, he was in Hermosillo, Mexico celebrating Mexican Independence Day when he got the call from Providence St. Joseph's Hospital that there was a match for a kidney transplant.
Dr. Yasir Qazi, transplant nephrologist and director of the kidney and pancreas program at Providence St. Joseph's Hospital, said he was skeptical Carranza would be able to make it back in time.
"We're on the clock," Dr. Qazi said "We have to let the organ procurement agency know within a very short time if we're going to take it or not. Efren just stepped it up. He's like, 'No, no, no. I will come back. I'll fly back.'"
Carranza immediately got on a flight to Los Angeles but missed his connection in Phoenix.
He said, "I said, 'It's over.' I called my doctor. My doctor said pass the phone over to the airline attendant and he gets me an emergency ticket."
Also, Dr. Qazi said, "It was down to the wire trying to make it happen because we don't want to have the kidney sit on ice for too long. But it worked out and he did really well."
Today, Carranza is doing great and no longer undergoes dialysis.
Providence St. Joseph's Hospital now wants to raise awareness of the need for more registered organ donors in the Hispanic community.
"The number of Hispanic patients that are on the list to receive a transplant is going up especially in Southern California and overall there's only about a 15 percent donation rate in the Hispanic community," Dr. Qazi said.
Carranza said, "Well, if you're going through dialysis, don't lose hope. Keep fighting because I waited more than five years and one day you'll have your turn."