Woman’s sign at NHL game pleading for new kidney goes viral

Posted at 8:50 PM, Apr 02, 2018

WEST HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Penguins fan: Seeking hero.

The NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins tweeted those four words with a photo of 30-year-old Kelly Sowatsky, whose sign asking for a new kidney stood out in the crowd.

Sowatsky, of Lancaster County, has been sick for the past two years, according to WPMT. She's looking for a second chance at life and is calling all hockey fans, or anyone for that matter, for some help.

"This could work, in the right place," said Sowatsky, who figured a Penguins game might be perfect.

On Saturday night, she went to the game with her fiance, with her neon poster in hand.

"So when the players were playing during warm-ups I was down on the front glass so I would hold it like this so Jake Guentzel could see it from the ice," Sowatsky said. Everyone behind her saw the message on the other side of the poster: "Calling all hockey fans, I need a kidney! Kidney! Kidney! Gratefully yours, Kelly."

Within minutes a picture of her holding the sign started to circulate social media, spreading the word. Since she posted her phone number, Kelly says she's received numerous calls and texts.

"I mean all these unknown numbers in here, these are just all the numbers that I've been getting, all the unknowns, they just keep coming," said Sowatsky.

Back in 2015, she was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, leading to a sepsis infection and later giving her more issues. Then, last year, the infection caused both of her kidneys to stop functioning.

"As I noticed the decrease in my kidney function, I thought, I need to get on it," she added.

That poster, now going viral, is her last hope.

"I never imagined in a million years though that it was going to reach as many people as it did," Sowatsky said.

"It's beyond my wildest dreams that there would be an interaction like this that would just help her and help us in such a tremendous way," said fiance Tyler Hart. "It's one of those moments that honestly restores your faith in humanity," he added.

The clock is ticking, but Sowatsky is staying hopeful.

"My hope, is that I graduate from college in just under six weeks, May 12th, that's my number one goal. I am going to get to May 12th, I am going to graduate from school with my bachelor's degree," said Sowatsky.

"The more people who share the better chance I have at finding a kidney and living," she added.

To become a donor or see if you are a match, you can contact Kelly at: 717-456-0766.