North Dakota man gets new kidney for Christmas

More than 125 North Dakotans are waiting for a kidney transplant.

Some are calling the 400-mile journey Jerry Bernal took to connect him with a new kidney a “Christmas Miracle.”

Bernal and his wife have been staying at hotels so he can get medical care after learning he had Stage 5 kidney failure.

After the news, he began dialysis and the wait to get a transplant.

The wait was over on December 22, when Bernal got news there was a match.

The race for Bernal and the kidney to get to Sanford in Bismarck for surgery was on. The kidney would last just 24 hours on ice.

Bernal drove from Williston to Bismarck. However, a blizzard was brewing.

The kidney, coming from a deceased donor in Rapid City, was flown to Minneapolis, but the storm was getting worse. Flights got cancelled and the only other option was to drive through the raging storm.

Learn about how that turned into a huge relay to get the lifesaving kidney to Bernal by watching the video from KFYR.