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My dad donated a kidney anonymously, a year ago today. We celebrated with a nice dinner, a bottle of wine, and a bonfire. We didn't talk too much about the experience, but he did mention something that I thought the DK community could help with, which is a sense of closure.

Anonymous organ donations are generally structured so that there is no direct communication between the donor and the recipient. This is a very good safeguard, since direct interactions could trigger a variety of complex and awkward interactions. An anonymous organ donation should be just that - anonymous.

My dad fully understands that, but he would have liked to have heard something back. I googled anonymous organ donation thanks, hoping to find some thanks from recipients, but didn't quite find what I was looking for. So I thought I'd ask DK - are there any recipients of anonymous organ donations out there? Any family or friends? I'd love to tell my dad some stories.

So I guess this is a "Last most beautiful organ donation" diary. My last most beautiful organ donation story is my dad's. He has always been a caring, generous and compassionate person, and often quietly so. I periodically learn (usually from others) of actions that he's taken, supporting people or organisations in need, taking a leadership role on important community and environmental issues, standing up for what's right, ethical, or compassionate. I could write a much longer diary on this topic.

Despite that, it was a surprise when he told me that he was planning to make an anonymous kidney donation. Mostly because I knew that it would be a complex and involved process. Of course I was supportive, especially once I started hearing how friends and family responded. It was a bit formulaic:

So my dad is donating a kidney.
->To who?
To humanity. It's an anonymous donation.
(Long conversation about how strange it is to do an anonymous donation).
Well, that's his choice.
(Long conversation about the health risks).
Well, that's what he wants to do.
(Long conversation about how brave and generous he is).
So even though I'd not actively considered doing an anonymous kidney donation (most of us have 1 more kidney than we need), I was disappointed at how strongly conventional wisdom opposed anonymous kidney donations. Doing it for a relative or a close friend was understandable, but not for a stranger. It's certainly not for me to be righteous about this, since I have not chosen to do any donations, but the more I learned, the more I wanted to  promote anonymous kidney donations.

There are many scenarios where friends and family of a person in need of a kidney are willing to donate one of theirs, but they're not a direct match. So they'll pledge to donate a kidney to someone else, in exchange for a kidney for their person. The kidney market is apparently very tight, so one anonymous/unconditional donation can trigger a chain of kidney exchanges, resulting in several people receiving kidneys.

That's what my dad did. A year ago less a day, I walked into the hospital to find my dad weaker than I'd ever seen him, in a hospital bed connected to various tubes and devices. It was one of those shock moments that I knew was coming, and that will keep coming, and likely get worse, as my parents age, but I still remember the visceral sob and heartbreak that hit me when I saw him lying there, post-op, disoriented and frail. I'd never felt so protective of him.

He recovered quickly, and we spent the next few days talking about books, discussing his status with nurses and doctors, walking the hospital hallways, waiting while he napped. If you want 5-star treatment at a hospital, do an anonymous organ donation - it really was moving to see how well he was treated by the professionals who had dedicated their lives to the health and well-being of others. They seemed pretty amazed themselves.

A kidney donation takes a long time to recover from. Over the last year, recovery has included a slow convalescence where he was physically weak, and had bouts of depression. He got excellent medical attention, including regular check-ins and therapy sessions.

The recovery went pretty much the way they said it would, but of course my dad had believed that he would have a "super-recovery", minimally affected by the conventional health impacts, due to his superior physical and spiritual resilience. I'm sure he was ahead of the curve, but not as dramatically as he'd anticipated.

The donation was a major sacrifice, one that compromised his quality of life for over 6 months. I know it was a satisfying sacrifice, because he is genuinely committed to the well-being of others (including humans). I've spent the last few days with him watching as he replants flood-eroded saplings and worries about flushed-out fauns.

He knows that the kidney recipient is still alive and well, but that's it. I thought that maybe some here in the DK community had experiences from the other side, as recipients, or friends and family of recipients, who might be willing to share their stories.

And at the very least, I'm proud and privileged to tell the story of my father, the anonymous kidney donor, a brave and compassionate man, who I love very much.

(Update)
My dad was very moved and appreciative of the comments (as was I) - thanks everyone!

Also, Walker22 posted a great comment encouraging people to register as an organ donor:

If you read this diary and felt good about it, can you please commit to talking about organ donation with your family and THEN registering with the national organ bank to make it official?

WE must do more than just read and agree.

No one will ask you to be an organ donor when you are dead, but the family is often asked when the time comes. And time is absolutely critical because the organs have a "shelf life." A lot of families are not sure what their loved one wants or wanted so they say no if they are asked at the hospital before the machines are unplugged---or they wait too long.

But if YOU commit, register with the Organ Bank, AND THEN put it in your medical directive (the do/do not resuscitate instructions) you will save many, many lives-----as many as 50, it is said, by "universal donors" who so designate!! Burn patients as well as desperate people who need an eye, bone, a kidney, a liver,  lungs, heart.

And let's remember our African American friends have a terrible time with diabetes and other diseases, where the matching is harder. We all need to help by getting more people signed up with the organ bank.

If you are reading this, you probably became a part of Daily Kos because you feel connected with your heart as well as your mind. right?

So why not commit to taking the steps necessary now to help the wider community later on?

It won't cost a cent, but just imagine what it will mean: life.

Originally posted to erratic on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 08:51 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for paying this forward (32+ / 0-)

    What a generous soul your father is!

    I may need one some day - not sure I'll choose to ask for one if it comes to that, but I am in awe of your dad's generosity.  What a blessing he bestowed.

    "This is the best bad idea we have by far..." ~Argo

    by MsGrin on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 09:09:33 PM PDT

  •  That Is One Hell of a Sacrifice. (31+ / 0-)

    All the best to him in the coming years that he should never need the kidney he shared.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 09:52:02 PM PDT

  •  I am moved beyond words. (13+ / 0-)

    What an amazing man.

    Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

    by earicicle on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:00:11 AM PDT

  •  Thank you (13+ / 0-)

    You should be proud of your father.   He is a great man and human being.

  •  Can I thank you and him in advance? (15+ / 0-)

    I'm never likely to be a kidney donor - indeed, I'm much more likely to be a recipient.  I've had issues that suggest I might have kidney damage, but simply can't afford to find out that I do, so I've put off the recommended testing.  If/when I find work and have an income again, I'll get it done.  So every donated kidney now is one less person likely to be in line ahead of me when the time comes around that I might need one.

    So thanks.

  •  That's an amazing story (18+ / 0-)

    Here's my diary from last year about my mother-in-law's liver and kidney transplant.  We lost her a few months ago, but that was after 16 years that she got because of the transplant.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:57:21 AM PDT

  •  Amazing man. Just a quick plug to make sure we all (9+ / 0-)

    Do what's necessary to be organ donors, if we can. And that your family knows your wishes. If you can't do it while you're alive, try for when you're dying/dead. In MA, you can get a sticker on your driver's license. I like knowing what's useful will be harvested and that the last act I can do in this world might help someone, somewhere.

    "I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards any one." (Edith Cavell)

    by Southcoast Luna on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:59:08 AM PDT

  •  My experience, as a recipient: (28+ / 0-)

    After a motorcycle accident that(among other things) left me with a comminuted fracture on the distal end of my radius(the end of my arm bone was shattered into pieces, not just cracked), I had a 'mal-union'. The mal-union occurred when the fragmented pieces of bone did not coalesce into one solid bone as it was before--nay, instead, the bits of bone were dissolving/dying. If you're wondering if that's painful, ...yes, yes it is. Quite.

    I was scheduled for a second surgery, & expected it to take about 11/2 hrs. I was 'put under' anesthesia about 9a.m.-ish, and expected to be home by noon. Next thing I remember is that it was 3pm. Awakening from anesthesia, everything is foggy for a bit--but I was like 'Wtf? Where'd the day go?'. The surgeon came to check on me, and I asked 'What happened?'... It was then I learned there were greater complications, and further damage than was anticipated. They were unable to use the bits of bone I had in there, and in fact, those chunks had to be removed. A Hand Specialist was called in in the middle of the operation. He ended up inserting chunks of cadaver bone & slinging them onto my radius with wires, bolts & screws(ok, kidding about the bolts, not the wires, screws, and plates...).

    When I got home, I was surely tripping that I had somebody else's 'parts' in me, something I was not expecting, even remotely. Among the papers I went home with, there was a packet telling me I had received 'donated body parts'. (Think about that--I thought I was having a wrist/hand/arm surgery, and then learned I had someone else's bone in me...).

    But in that packet of info was a postcard. It was addressed to the um, 'bone purveyor's company', using a digital code to identify me & the donor. The card would be forwarded to the donor's family anonymously once I had sent it in. And the sole purpose for the card was to thank the family for their donation of bone from their loved one. That was the best part of the whole procedure. For while I wasn't expecting to receive any donated body parts & was tripping that I did, it gave me the opportunity to say thanks to someone I neither know or would ever meet.

    Because of the generosity of their donation, I am able to use my left wrist & hand. Well, there are deficits sure--but no where near what I would have been left with without the donation... How does one say thanks for that? On a little postcard no less? "Um, thanks for giving me years of a somewhat normal existence instead of being a one-armed man"? Thank you simply doesn't cover it.

    And now I've said thanks in the best way I know: In addition to filling out the thank you card, it is in my will & final directives that any & all parts of mine are to be harvested & either used for donation or education. So, yeah, I may end up some cadaver that a med student is sawing on. Or maybe my eyes will help someone see. Or my kidneys may get someone off a dialysis machine. Or, hey--maybe some hapless motorcyclist will get to finish their life with all 4 limbs functioning, thanks to me. Can't beat that.

    Please tell your Dad thanks from me. He can not over-estimate the sheer magnificence of having a useful, functioning body. That he enabled someone to live on--with a better life--is among the greatest things he will ever do. Bless him. Bless him twice.

    The better I know people, the more I like my dog.

    by Thinking Fella on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:01:49 AM PDT

    •  Wow, Tim, thanks for sharing. I had no idea you (10+ / 0-)

      could even use cadaver bones for something like that. And thanks for the first tearing up session of the morning!

    •  Thx Thinking Fella, I will! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Thinking Fella, MsGrin

      Thanks for sharing your story!

    •  just posted above my plans to be recycled! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MsGrin, erratic

      yours is a more powerful reason to consider it.

      glad you're okay!  and to the family and anonymous donor, thanks to them for their caring.

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 11:48:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, Fella! (0+ / 0-)

      Quite an adventure.  Am glad you've been cobbled back together.

      Interesting that the company which processed the bone passed along your gratitude.  I think that's great, but I also wonder how much of that is PR since those companies apparently make a pretty fine penny from the donations of next of kin and that ends up being part of the political discussion about donation stickers and all...

      Whatever it took (or cost or allowed someone to profit), I'm sure glad you had access to what you needed when you needed it.  ;-)

      "This is the best bad idea we have by far..." ~Argo

      by MsGrin on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 11:54:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I initially read this diary... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erratic

      ...thinking that it didn't apply to me because I have healthy kidneys.

      But after reading Thinking Fella's post, it occurred to me that I have a cadaver bone in my knee.  

      Walking with ease is such a ho-hum part of my life that I often forget that I would have been crippled by my accident if I'd lived in my great-grandmother's time!!!

      I had a depressed fracture of the tibial plateau back in 1990.  It never would have healed properly without surgical intervention.  I awoke from the repair with a cadaver bone.

      So while my own 'transplant' was not life-saving, it certainly was mobility-saving.  Since then I've had two children, visited 14 countries, coached children's sports, gotten a Master's degree, and been teaching English to adult migrant job seekers for 3 years.

      Think how hard it would have been to do all that while on crutches.

      So thank your father for me!

      P.S.  I have been an organ donor for more years than I can count, and my husband and children know my wishes.

      ‘‘For Barack, success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the differences you make in people’s lives.’’ ~ Michelle Obama, DNC, 4 Sep 2012

      by harchickgirl1 on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 03:00:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wouldn't an Anonymous Thanks website be great! (11+ / 0-)

    Perhaps one of many non-profits and agencies that coordinate organ donations could step up.

    A straightforward 'Thank You' data base - searchable by organ, date of donation/transplant, gender etc - might let wonderful people like your father get some closure.  He could at least see that someone got a kidney around that date in his part of the country.  

    Good proposal idea from someone techie?

  •  Just wondering, how expensive was it for him to (5+ / 0-)

    donate a kidney?  From what I have heard, unlike bone marrow the costs of recovery including doctor's visits and handling any complications is the donor's responsibility and thus you can end up in a great deal of medical debt when you donate a kidney if there are any complications.

    You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

    by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 10:30:06 AM PDT

  •  If you read this diary . . . (15+ / 0-)

    If you read this diary and felt good about it, can you please commit to talking about organ donation with your family and THEN registering with the national organ bank to make it official?

    WE must do more than just read and agree.

    No one will ask you to be an organ donor when you are dead, but the family is often asked when the time comes. And time is absolutely critical because the organs have a "shelf life." A lot of families are not sure what their loved one wants or wanted so they say no if they are asked at the hospital before the machines are unplugged---or they wait too long.

    But if YOU commit, register with the Organ Bank, AND THEN put it in your medical directive (the do/do not resuscitate instructions) you will save many, many lives-----as many as 50, it is said, by "universal donors" who so designate!! Burn patients as well as desperate people who need an eye, bone, a kidney, a liver,  lungs, heart.

    And let's remember our African American friends have a terrible time with diabetes and other diseases, where the matching is harder. We all need to help by getting more people signed up with the organ bank.

    If you are reading this, you probably became a part of Daily Kos because you feel connected with your heart as well as your mind. right?

    So why not commit to taking the steps necessary now to help the wider community later on?
    It won't cost a cent, but just imagine what it will mean: life.

    •  Ah - the MOST IMPORTANT part: (12+ / 0-)

      TELL YOUR FAMILY.  This was a lesson from hospice training I had, too.  Talk!!!

      If you don't communicate, no one can possibly know your wishes.

      I'm disgustingly practical about these things.  Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.  I've been a yakkity talker all of my life..., including about he subject of organ donation and medical directives.

      My brother is the executor of my will, and he's also been verbally instructed that if I am brain dead to let me go.  If I am comatose and there's double-triple testing, no sign of brain activity, and no hope of recovering with my brain functions intact, sign organ donation papers and let me go.  Life on a machine with no brain functions is not my idea of living.

      When family knows they are carrying out your wishes, the guilt of taking a person off of life support when there's no hope whatsoever of regaining a normal life is greatly reduced or eliminated.

      TELL YOUR FAMILY!

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:27:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thx Walker22! Very important. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MsGrin

      I'm going to append this to the diary, for better visibility.

  •  Lovely story; lovely father. n/t (9+ / 0-)

    I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

    by samddobermann on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 11:52:02 AM PDT

  •  Recipient and Donor stories (7+ / 0-)

    In 2000 I had an anterior-posterior triple lumbar fusion.  I have three cadaver vertebrae in my spine, and of the spaces between, three fake discs (not sure the material in those, just know it's not human).  Before my spinal surgery the middle disc was completely gone and I had vertebrae rubbing vertebrae (bone on bone); it's an odd sensation to reach for a tissue on one's night stand, not even straining, just reaching, and hear and feel that.  Even my totally untrained eye could see on X-rays the lack of space between those two vertebrae and that the two disc spaces on either side of that 'no space' were remarkably thin.  The testing - sans anesthetic - of the disc spaces with the insertion of wires for reasons I didn't fathom the same day the CAT scans were done pre-surgery were very nearly unendurable.

    The day of surgery (8 1/2 hrs), when they'd opened me up on my abdomen and went in to chip off hip bone for grinding and mixing with something to do the fusion they discovered I have remarkably thin hip bones and couldn't get enough bone to fuse more than one side, so the other side has titanium wire binding the three vertebrae - looks like a giant paper clip on X-rays.  There are two titanium rods screwed to the sides of my spine holding the whole thing together.

    Without the spinal surgery, the dr. said eventually that pain from my sciatic nerve might end by being severed if I didn't have the spine stabilized and proper disc material filling the spaces.  The cadaver discs I hadn't anticipated, so that was a surprise.

    I have/had advanced degenerative arthritis.  When histamines can't find anything to attack, they turn around and attack one's bone joints.  Ergo, no cartilage.  This has affected various bone joints in my body from some of my finger joints, to my spine, to my knees.

    Just two years ago I had my right knee replaced with a titanium fake knee because I had another issue of bone on bone grinding - and pain - because the cartilage was all gone (again, even my untrained eye could see there was nothing there where cushioning should be).  The left knee is probably overdue to be replaced because now that knee is feeling like the right one used to.  [My brother who is twenty-two months younger than me has already had both of his knees replaced.  Yes, we each have allergies and each have degenerative arthritis - inherited from our parents who each had allergy sensitivities.]

    So, I'm a recipient....

    My only maternal aunt died a couple of years ago.  Several years prior to her death, she'd made provisions to become a donor at death.  My cousin (who was an RN before she retired) let me know what happened when her mother died.  The donor provision was known, so aunt was taken in for immediate autopsy (she died of a massive coronary at her home after she'd collapsed when ambulance people were there and helping her).  An undiagnosed condition prevented her vital organs from being used, but they did harvest her corneas and her skin was used for a burn patient.  What was left was cremated and her ashes were buried next to her husband's ashes.

    My youngest maternal uncle died of a massive coronary when he was only 47, but when the hospital called me (as the only living relative in the area where I was living at the time), I was able to say he'd wanted to be a donor at death, and when I got to the hospital they finally told me he had died instantly, but EMTs tried to revive him.  I signed the papers for his corneas to be donated.  This was back in 1983.  We'd discussed donation many times because my cousin / his nephew was dying of cancer (his mother's side of the family is riddled with cancer) which they'd found out about just when they found out his wife was pregnant with son #2; cousin died about a month before that, two weeks before the baby was born..., but during those months uncle and I had talked on the phone many times, and the subject often got around to organ donation, and he expressed his wish repeatedly that he hoped he could be an organ donor.  I was the one who kept my head when the hospital notified me and told he ER nurse "Listen, do what you have to do, but he told me he wanted to be an organ donor, and while his heart and liver and kidneys probably can't be used, if you can use his corneas I'll sign the papers when I get there."  Luckily, the hospital was only half a dozen blocks from where I worked at the time.  It was only after all of that was done that I notified my mother about her brother.

    I do genealogy research, and discovered one of the offspring of my paternal grandmother's half-sister donated her entire body to a medical school.  She had several health problems and thought it would be a good idea for medical students to be able to know how the ailments affected a human body.

    I have the 'organ donor' designation on my driver's license, and while I have heart problems and that will never be able to be used, I hope something else can.  I've thought of making arrangements regarding cadaver donation to a medical school for autopsy because I think that's a good idea.  At least the places where I have bone from someone else and titanium joints could be studied postmortem for how they affect a human body, and knowing how and where I have degenerative arthritis could easily be used by a med student planning on being an ortho could be viewed for how those broken down joints look and how they might be fixed or pain relief administered (arthritis flare-ups can be very painful; I also have gout and the first attack was more painful than labor pains - I couldn't even walk on my foot!).

    If my organs can't be used by someone else, I'm willing to be the cadaver that future doctors learn from.  After that, as far as I'm concerned, my body can be cremated, mixed with flower seeds, and my ashes scattered.  I'm realistic.  I know that old organs probably aren't as useful as younger organs, but hopefully at least corneas can help someone and anything learned from my body helps someone in the future.

    So, I can speak as a grateful recipient, and as someone who has known those who donated.  It's good.

    Here's to useful knowledge gained and used wisely.

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:17:40 PM PDT

    •  Older people's organs (7+ / 0-)

      can definitely help. Older people waiting for organs are generally shunted aside when only younger people's organs are available and there are younger people on the transplant list. This is especially true for kidneys, since people waiting for them comprise the vast majority of the transplant list. So older people's organs are very useful: an older person waiting for a transplant will generally be asked if he/she wants to consider "extended donor criteria" organs, again, particularly kidneys. Those include organs from people over age 60, which is the usual cutoff. A 75 year old who has at least the likelihood of ten-fifteen more good years with a kidney may receive a kidney from an 80 year old a LOT sooner than s/he would receive one that comes from a 30 year old.

      Those older people's organs do a great deal of good. They enable older people to get transplants sooner and get off the waiting list faster with a gift of life that should keep them going for quite some time to come.

      •  I had an episode a few years ago (4+ / 0-)

        ... when I went in for my regular checkup and blood work (I have a heart condition and take high blood pressure meds).  I'd taken the blood test the same day and the results were not done when I saw the doc.  Before I got home, his voice was on the answering machine to 'get over to ER as soon as possible and take another blood test because the numbers on my blood work at the clinic were off the charts odd.'

        I was more worried about whether or not the hospital had Wifi so I could keep in contact with relatives and friends since a few years before that when I was diagnosed with high b/p & left bundle branch block they sent me to a hospital out of town and no one knew where I was so I had no way of contacting anyone.  There were guest computers at the other hospital so luckily for me my ISP has an email program on their server and I could check my emails and also email from that.

        In any case, I dawdled around for another half an hour getting my laptop & stuff together because I had asked if I should prepare to stay in the hospital or not and the doc answered in the affirmative.

        Unbeknownst to me, once they did the blood test at the hospital I was in the middle of kidney failure (and a gout attack was building up to critical stages), and my blood pressure was waaaaay low, so they filled me full of fluid on the highest drip to flush out my kidneys (15 lbs of water heavier four days later when I went home), took me off of all meds, got me stabilized.

        The day after I got home I had to call 911 because I couldn't walk on my right foot..., so I was back in ER with a diagnosis of gouty arthritis.  I'd told the dr. about the foot pain and the swollen ankles and feet were very obvious and visible, and I thought he'd tested uric acid levels, but he didn't treat me for gout while they were flushing out my kidneys.  [I think because the most effective meds are not flushed out and it's a toxin so a buildup could be dangerous, even fatal.]

        The doc had almost not done the blood test when I went in for my quarterly check, but decided at the last minute to do it.  If he hadn't, I hate to think what might have happened.  As it happens, it seems all the meds the physician's assistant had prescribed kind of conspired against me, so apparently permanent damage was averted, but since then I do a blood test every three months.  Sometimes my creatinine levels are a bit high and I have to take gout meds and be sure to drink extra fluids to flush out my system.

        I'm perfectly willing to donate my kidneys (along with everything and anything else that will be beneficial) at death if they're still functioning, but my doc keeps a close eye on my kidney functions, and while I'm old (67) and have various health issues, I'm still planning on living to age 100.

        :-)

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:53:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well said! ...eom (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erratic, NonnyO, radical simplicity

      In their eyes there's something lacking What they need's a damn good whacking.

      by third Party please on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:29:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for sharing NonnyO! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO
      •  Velbekomme - (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MsGrin, erratic

        Give your dad a hug from me.  His selfless courage means someone else can live, and I hope whoever received his kidney lives a nice, long life and sees grandkids come into the world.

        Your father sounds as special as my father who died of an orphan (and always fatal) lung disease in 1975.  I still miss my dad, even if I finally adjusted to not having him in my life.  There's no denying it's good to have the benefit of good parents growing up - parents whose very lives and actions are an example of a life well lived with consideration for other human beings.

        {{{erratic & erratic's dad}}}

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 10:17:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  9 years ago today (9+ / 0-)

    My husband received a donated cadaver kidney. All we know it that is was from a 32 year old woman in California. Her family agreed to the donation of her organs.

    My husband had been on the transplant list for 5 years and had moved from peritoneal dialysis to hemodialysis during that time. He was doing OK, but the dialysis was a lot of work and we worried a lot about the port, etc....

    When he got the new kidney, he was in the OR for about 7 hours. The surgeon told me that it was producing urine before he even got back to his hospital room.

    My husband was up and walking (albeit slowly!) the next day. He was home in less than a week. He went back to full time work one week after that.

    He takes excellent care of his "California kidney" as we call it. He takes his meds 2x daily, he eats well and gets in plenty of exercise. His PCP has told me that if he didn't know of the transplant from his medical record and if he didn't see the scars, he wouldn't be able to tell he had a transplant.

    We wrote a letter on the year anniversary to the family through the Kidney Foundation with our deepest thanks. They are in our thoughts and prayers every holiday and birthday.

    We make sure everyone in our circle knows about the amazing gift we were all given.

    God bless your father.

    Lisa :)

    All Kossacks are my allies, but if you can't express your thoughts in a civil and kind manner, I won't be engaging in a conversation with you.

    by Boston to Salem on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:10:39 PM PDT

  •  Please thank your father for me. (12+ / 0-)

    I will never be able to thank the person whose kidney helps me live and has been for nearly 2 1/2 years now, though I was able to hopefully write to (his?) family and express my thanks via writing to UNOS, which sent my mail on to the family if they wanted it. They may not have. If they did and if they'd wanted to correspond with me, UNOS gives them that opportunity, but they haven't done so.

    I keep hoping I'll hear from them so I can express my thanks, though what they gave to me by donating their family member's organs is beyond mere thanks. They literally gave me life. They gave me 15-20 years or so, hopefully, of life that I would not have had otherwise. The words "thank you" aren't enough.

    I owe them my life today. Every day I have had since February 18, 2011 has been a gift they have given to me. That is what your father did for someone he didn't even know. It's an extraordinary gift, and there are no words for what he has done for someone.

    All I can say to him is "thank you for giving someone life". There is a world of emotion in those words that may not come across the screen here.

    Please tell him that River Curtis-Stanley said "thank you, Sir".

  •  Your father is a hero. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erratic

    I lost a family member a couple of months ago because he ran out of time waiting for a donor.  He had just turned 50.  I've been registered as an organ donor for many, many years.  Although I have numerous health issues that would prevent some of my organs from being useful, there is always skin for burn patients, corneas, etc.   My two adult children know of my wishes and are listed as organ donors as well.  They routinely donate blood, a privilege I am unable to engage in, due to some of my medications.  There is no greater gift than literally giving of yourself to lengthen or enhance the quality of life of another.  

    You are my brother, my sister.

    by RoCali on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:18:44 PM PDT

  •  Years ago, a friend's husband dropped dead (5+ / 0-)

    of a brain aneurysm at age forty. My friend was studying for her advanced nursing degree late one night when he complained of feeling nauseated, then dropped dead in the bathroom. She kept him on life support long enough for his organs and corneas to be harvested. A year later when she was temping at a hospital, she got into a conversation with another nurse who told her about her best friend who'd been in a wheelchair, on dialysis, when some man dropped dead of an aneurysm and her friend finally got transplants and was doing great, working again. My friend flushed, asked the date, and they figured out it was her husband. She felt some comfort knowing the donation had saved another.

    "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." Mohandas Gandhi

    by cv lurking gf on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:40:33 PM PDT

  •  If your dad wants transplant (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsGrin, erratic

    stories, here you go, all he could ever want:

    I Hate Dialysis Transplant Stories

    That's a subgroup of the 'transplant discussion' group on I Hate Dialysis. (Don't let the name of the site put you off; it's a very caring and supportive forum.)

    I have no interest in a transplant myself - at least not till they can grow me my own - but I can tell you that every person on there who has received one is, without fail, forever indebted to their donor and not shy about saying so. He will find gratitude for donors to spare over there.

    When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. - Mark Twain

    by Late Again on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:12:55 PM PDT

  •  My Mom received an anonymous kidney (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsGrin, erratic

    Though, unfortunately, we do know it came from a 19 year old who'd had a motorcycle accident.

  •  thanks to your father - and you - for sharing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsGrin, Mlle L, erratic

    this.

    i have another way to "donate" - one that is somewhat unconventional.

    when i die, i want my body to be "recycled" - donated to be used however it can be to aid others.

    true, corneas, skin and more can be used to help the living, but the remainder of that which i no longer will need can help to teach others how to help the living - through practicing transplant surgeries, to studying how this amazing mechanism functions.

    when my beloved nimbus died - my precious pony had a tumor that filled the entire sinus cavity in the left side of his head - all unbeknownst to me or his vet.

    the vets at davis were stunned at the cat scan and had never seen anything like it.

    i asked him before he left if it would be okay for me to give him to the vet hospital.  he "said" - okay that he didn't need it anymore.

    so began my thoughts of what i won't "need" when i transition - and that i how i plan to be the ultimate "recycler".   we can help far beyond our stay on this earth - if we choose!

    your dad chose the immediate method.  mine will take a bit longer, i hope, many more years longer, to be fulfilled.

    EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

    by edrie on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 11:46:05 PM PDT

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