Professor donates kidney to student - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Professor donates kidney to student

Ravi Patel Ravi Patel
Lynda Bernhardt Lynda Bernhardt
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A VSU student had a new outlook on life Tuesday thanks to a donation from one of his professors.

"Because he needed a kidney and I've got two. It really is that simple," said Professor Lynda Bernhardt, smiling and laughing happily.

That's why Bernhardt said she made the decision in the Fall of 2014 to be a kidney donor to Ravi Patel, after learning from a friend of Ravi's, who also happened to be a student of hers, that the donor he had set up at the time had just fallen through.

Ravi said he didn't get too excited at first, because he didn't want to be let down again. "I didn't wanna have the fact of 'what if it doesn't work out'. Then, I'll be depressed about that," Ravi explained, as he sat next to Bernhardt in her office.

Just before the surgery was set to take place at the end of May though, Ravi was told that the surgery would be pushed back until June 8th. Again, Bernhardt stepped in to help him out, working with the doctors to get the surgery rescheduled for the original date of May 22nd.

"Throughout that whole day," said Ravi, "I was excited, nervous, excited, sad, and then excited again and then nervous again." Ravi's parents were excited when they found out who the donor was, especially since Ravi didn't tell them who it was until right before surgery.


Bernhardt said she doesn't have any regrets. "During the two days of testing at Emory, they made me start to think, 'maybe I'm crazy.' But other than that, no," Bernhardt said, jokingly.

Ravi said that as of Tuesday his health continued to improve. He will have to continue receiving dialysis treatments, but the treatments will become less and less frequent over time thanks to the new kidney.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Bernhardt. You can find it here.

Copyright 2015 WALB. All rights reserved.

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