Organ donation, take it from me, truly is the gift of life. Our kidneys act as sieves in our body; they trap the needed body-building proteins and keep them in our bodies. They let the wastes filter through a strainer and exit our bodies through our urine.
My own kidneys had been damaged due to diabetes and the punishing lifestyle of a heavy work schedule. My kidneys were damaged so badly that I had to have dialysis three days a week. I would travel to Campbellsville in the dark of the morning where I was attached to my dialysis unit for 3 to 3.5 hours, then travel back to my office by noon to see patients.
I was on the transplant list and dialysis for about six months, and was en route home from the dialysis clinic, when I received a call that changed my life forever. I was to go directly to Jewish Hospital — a kidney was available for me.
I received my gift of life (my new kidney), spent only two days in the hospital, and then returned home with a markedly improved lifestyle. I am extremely fortunate and blessed.
My transplant had been working well for over a year when I received a letter asking if I would like to know who had been my donor. Of course, I jumped at the chance and replied, “Yes.”
Sometime later I received a letter from Mei Xiu, a young Chinese woman who now lives in New York City. Her healthy 30 year old construction working husband, Hui, had died in an accident and she had compassionately donated his organs.
“The real success and happiness one finds in life depends on how you live and share your life.”
Organ donation saves lives. I am living proof.