Combating Kidney Disease-
What Texans are Up Against

By Lexie Adams
April, 2023


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Kristi Nelson


Kristi Nelson's fascination with journalism started when she was just 9 years old, and Santa left a typewriter for her beneath the Christmas tree.


She soon started banging out articles based on topics she saw on TV and would cut and paste the stories on paper, which she would then sell to family members for 25 cents each. It was the beginning of a long love affair with news and storytelling.


E-mail Kristi | Follow Kristi on Twitter | Like Kristi on Facebook | Follow Kristi on Instagram


Fast forward more than 30 years, and Kristi is now a multiple award-winning journalist, and the anchor of NBC 5 First at Four and NBC 5 Responds reporter.


In the nearly two decades she’s spent at NBC 5, she’s also hosted Lone Star Politics, NBC 5 Spotlight and been at the forefront of some of the region’s most memorable breaking news stories.


Kristi's extensive experience goes beyond her time reporting and anchoring in the nation's 5th largest television news market. She started her journalism career as a newspaper reporter, spending several summers as an intern at The Dallas Morning News before going on to work at The Philadelphia Inquirer, and later, The Cincinnati Enquirer.


Kristi got a taste of the sports world when she joined the National Basketball Association's Communications Department, working as a writer within the Publishing Ventures division. She authored feature articles for commemorative magazines and NBA-branded publications, including Inside Stuff and Hoop magazines, and was part of the media relations team mobilized for major events, including NBA Finals, NBA All-Star Weekend and NBA Draft.


Her work at the NBA led to another accomplishment – that of being a published author. Kristi finished "The Chamique Holdsclaw Story" while working on a Master's degree at Columbia University. It was published in 2000 by Scholastic Press.


In recent years, Kristi has distinguished herself through coverage of issues relating to justice, race, communities and health.


In August 2011, Kristi donated a kidney to her mother and documented the process in a multiple-part series called "Kristi's Gift," which aired on NBC 5 the week of the surgery. The series earned Kristi an Emmy.


Kristi has three Lone Star Emmys and earned a Gracie Award from the prestigious national organization, The Alliance for Women in Media. She also has multiple awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and has been honored by several local organizations for both her work as a journalist and her contributions to the North Texas community.


Vinny's Transplant Story

The transplant operation in February began with the organ harvest in UT Southwestern’s new William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital and ended in Children’s Medical Center Dallas, where a 16-year-old boy from Plano got a new kidney.
Before the operation, Dr. Dev Desai stopped by the kidney donor’s room to shake her hand and talk to her before the surgery. She had great confidence in him, she told him, and with good reason.
Trezza, a golfer, Boy Scout and a high school junior, had been living with hydronephrosis, a condition from birth that caused his kidneys to swell and not function properly. He needed a kidney transplant, and his mother, Melissa Trezza, was a perfect match.
At Clements University Hospital, Dr. Desai worked for hours cutting away tissue around her kidney. The work was done with long surgical tools inserted into the patient’s abdomen, and Dr. Desai watched what he was doing on a TV screen that showed a greatly enlarged picture of the kidney.
The quiet, focused work broke into intense bustling when the kidney was pulled out. Dr. Desai hurried over with the kidney to a separate table where he and another surgeon stooped over it, busily working to flush it out and prepare it for transplant. Time was precious. They needed to complete the procedure within three minutes for optimum results.
The kidney turned gray – an excellent sign. It was put in an ice chest and rushed to Children’s, where Vinney was already in surgery.
Dr. Desai showed up several minutes after the kidney.  He and Dr. David Cha prepared the kidney as other surgeons, just a few feet away, worked on the 16-year-old boy.
Eventually, the boy’s bad kidney was removed and another time-sensitive stage began.
“Now they’re on the clock. The kidney is out,” Dr. Desai said, as his colleagues continued to work. In minutes, the new kidney was connected. Hours of work and many years of expertise had produced another success, and Dr. Desai stopped to ponder on the larger meaning of it all.
“It’s one of the unique things about being human. Sacrificing for a family member,” he said.

Melissa said she gladly donated her kidney to her son, allowing him to avoid dialysis and prevent an early death.

“We always had a really strong relationship with Children’s,” Mrs. Trezza said. “It’s like our extended family.”



The Park Cities News - THANK YOU MARJ WATERS!
The Park Cities News - THANK YOU MARJ WATERS!