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Putnam 13-year-old looking for a kidney donor for the second time

By Luke Hajdasz

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    PUTNAM, Connecticut (WFSB) — Harlow Tucker is a typical 13-year-old.

She lives in Putnam. She loves the color pink, comics and Taylor Swift.

After all, what eighth grade girl doesn’t?

“She is the strongest, bravest kid – not just kid – person – that I know,” Harlow’s grandmother Lisa said.

Harlow is looking for a kidney donor for the second time in her life.

“The things she’s been through nobody should have to go through, let alone a 13-year-old,” Lisa said. “It’s gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, not just to see her go through it but the whole family. Her parents, her brother and sister, it affects them all!”

At age six, Harlow received her first kidney transplant from a family member. U.S. Army Veteran David Trites died in a motorcycle crash in 2016. After the crash, Trites’ wife kept him on life support long enough for his body to be tested to see if he was a match.

Harlow’s father, Kirk, remembers Trites’ wife saying, “Get him to Hartford and make sure Harlow gets a kidney.”

Kidneys from deceased donors typically last seven to ten years. Since that successful transplant, seven years quickly came and went. Now, the search begins again.

“It’s definitely hard on her you can see it takes it out of her,” Kirk said.

Kirk and Lisa are heading up the hunt for a match. They’re looking for their family’s next hero.

“We’re really hoping to get a live donor to get her into her 20s,” Lisa said.

A kidney donation from a live donor can last 15 to 20 years.

Harlow is Type O blood, so the best match would have the same.

The Tucker family is hoping the right person comes along sooner rather than later so Harlow can stop dialysis and spend more time where it matters: with family, friends and in school.

“She’s probably the only kid that really, really, really wants to go to school,” Lisa said.

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