All Stories

Larry- Kidney Recipient

Larry had always been sick. His daughter, Melanie, recalls being told that her dad was diagnosed with Chronic Nephritis as a young child. By the time he was in 8th grade he was bed-ridden and the doctors told his parents that he wouldn’t live long. However, Larry had a determination to live and he fought through the illness. With time he was able to graduate High School and eventually married.


Larry’s health battles did continue, though. Melanie recalls her dad going to dialysis clinics out of town several times a week. He was becoming very sick and very weak. The disruptions in family life and the uncertainty of her dad’s health were hard on the family. When Melanie was about 6 years old on April 3, 1978, Larry received the call that would change their lives: a kidney was available for him. She recalls the rush of her parents getting ready to leave for the hospital, a drive that was at least two hours from their home, while she and her brother stayed with grandparents. They were not able to see their dad for a long time.


Larry’s recovery from transplant was long and hard. He did not experience a physical change immediately, but more gradually. Eventually, though, her dad was no longer going to dialysis appointments multiple times a week. He no longer looked sick and frail. Rather, he had a beautiful, normal life. He took extremely good care of his health because he knew it was a gift. He worked for the state highway department as an engineer for many years, climbing bridges to do inspections. He attended family functions, and even got re-married to my wonderful stepmom, Sharon and was able to be a father figure to her son, Michael He saw his children graduate from high school, he walked his daughter down the aisle, and attended both his son, Trevis, and his step son’s wedding. He saw the birth of his grandchildren and enjoyed the life and joy they bring to a family. Larry’s life after transplant was full of love, laughter, and family.


Melanie enjoyed her dad for all of the beautifully normal events in life because a family said “yes” to organ donation. “I wouldn’t have had a dad if it weren’t for them. That’s why I’ve always been a registered organ donor.”


Larry Hampton passed away on March 26, 2019, eight days shy of his 41st transplant anniversary. So many important life events and memories transpired for the family of Larry Hampton. If given the opportunity, Melanie would say to their donor family, “Thank you for giving me all those years with my dad.”