Local first responder expresses gratitude after receiving kidney transplant

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – As an EMT, a paramedic and now a flight paramedic for Beckley’s Air Evac Lifeteam, Ashley Williams has had a career dedicated to helping others. However, back in October, Williams was suddenly the one in need of help. 

“I was first diagnosed in October with a condition called IgA nephropathy. It’s an autoimmune disease, and we had already found out then that I was in Stage 5 renal failure, and I had to start dialysis right away,” Williams said. 

Williams continued to work while on dialysis all while having the support and backing of her team and her community.

Then, just a few weeks ago, she was put at the top of the kidney transplant list. Then, last Friday, came the much-anticipated call, the same day as her late grandpa’s birthday. 

“To have a gift of life like that given to you is beyond anything you could even imagine,” Williams said. “You know, to know that a family took the time to sacrifice and make that ultimate decision in some of the worst times of their life is a big deal, and organ donation is really important,” she said. 

Williams has seen the power of organ donation in her own job, but now that she has firsthand experience, she’s an even bigger advocate.

Even though she will be in recovery with her new kidney for the next 6 months, she says she’ll be ready to bounce back to work with a new sense of purpose. 

“Getting back taking care of patients and taking care of people is really what I want to do and making sure I use this kidney to bless other people the way that I was blessed,” she said.  

Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.