Montgomery Woman Receives Kidney Match Using Billboard Campaigns

For a little over a year, Verna Johnson has been on the waiting list for a kidney and doing home dialysis 7 days a week for 8 hours. But all of that is about to change.

Billboards across Montgomery and Birmingham that once read “Verna Needs a Kidney” have changed to “Verna Got a Kidney.”

“This time I’m overwhelmed with joy,” said Johnson.

Johnson’s living donor is Jamie Burchfield of Birmingham. She initially saw Johnson’s campaigns on Facebook. After signing up and passing all of the necessary tests, she was a match.

“When she got that phone call she was just overwhelmed with joy and she said ok God, ok we’re going to do this,” said Johnson.

Burchfield recently surprised Johnson at a celebration dinner.

“I almost passed out. So it was amazing to meet her, hug on her, love on her,” said Johnson.

Johnson says, her fight to overcome stage 5 kidney disease was not only for herself but for others who are suffering and for her sister who died from the disease.

“To all the people that’s on dialysis, kidney failure, looking at dialysis – it can be very dark and bleak and you don’t know where your future is going to be but I sit here today with you to let everybody know don’t give up,” said Johnson.

She wants others to hold on to their glimmer of hope.

“This young lady Jamie reached out to me to save my life,” said Johnson.

Johnson says, she is looking forward to returning to spending time with friends and family and going back to work once she recovers from surgery. She is also hoping to be an advocate for people who are facing kidney disease.

Johnson’s kidney transplant is scheduled for the end October.

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