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  • Author: Carol P.
  • Date Submitted: May 15, 2015
  • Category: Patient Testimonials

Twice a Recipient: Alive and Kicking Through Kidney Donation

When kidney disease first struck Carol, she had no idea how her family would step up to ensure she lived a happy, healthy life to the fullest. Not only does Carol feel the love from her family, she has physical evidence to prove it. When Carol finally required a kidney transplant, her brother Bill volunteered to make a kidney living donation with zero hesitation. As luck would have it, they were an excellent match! In 1989, the transplant was performed at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. With great success, Carol was able to return to her normal, active daily life.

Sadly, about ten years after the kidney transplant, Carol suffered a heart attack, which resulted in kidney failure, placing her in need of yet another kidney. Knowing this was a possibility, Carol’s family was proactive and already had a plan in place. After prayerful consideration, Bill’s daughter, Debbie, offered her kidney to save Carol’s life.

Upon later reflection, Debbie truly believes that she was led to become a living donor. She recovered well and has minimal scarring to remind her of a life-changing event that, as she relates, has paid her back in unimaginable ways. Debbie is currently a very active grandmother who continues to work as a personal trainer, doing things that many teenagers are unable to. Even with this active lifestyle, Debbie’s remaining kidney is performing well. Additionally, after 25 years, her father Bill has also led a full life with only a single kidney. Carol herself notes that she appreciates the expertise of the Methodist staff as well as their kindness, and she thinks of them now as family.

Both Bill and Debbie made a kidney living donation to ensure that their family had more time with Carol, but what is a living donor? A living donation is made by a person who can sustain their own life without the vital organ they are donating. Why should you consider this option? A kidney provided by a living donor will most often last longer than one from a deceased body. Rest assured that the staff at The Liver Institute at Methodist Dallas treats all living donors as top priority, ensuring that they are not only a good match for the recipient, but that their care comes first. When you decide to become a living donor, a medical team will evaluate your medical condition to confirm there are no factors that could prevent you from making a living donation, such as hypertension or diabetes, or that would make kidney donation a poor option for you. Many people will also ask if you have to be a relative to make a living donation. The answer is no. The only requirements to become a living donor are that you pass the medical evaluation and are a good match. Many lives have also been saved by matching unrelated living donors through the Paired Donation Exchange Program. Find out more about this program in Pamela success story.

To make a living donation or to get more information on the living donor program, please call 214-947-1800 or 1-800-284-2195. Become a donor today!