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Living Donor

If you had asked me, on the morning of April 16th 2023, if I would donate a kidney I would have said no. After seeing a Facebook post saying that a dear friend needed a kidney… it was a no-brainer. I contacted the University of Kentucky’s organ donation clinic and started the process.

A little history is in order. I met Tom because of my Wife. He had taught her to be an EMT several years before we got married. If I hadn’t met her, I never would have known him. After that, we became friends and over the years we became closer. Tom videoed our wedding, and acted as Santa for a nephew. He also became somewhat of a mentor for me, as he was a long time paramedic and I was a Firefighter/Paramedic that was still learning.

The evaluation progress is lengthy and in depth. Multiple blood draws, CT scans, in depth medical history and a colonoscopy were all in order. As the evaluation progressed, and more people were excluded from donation, it became tougher for me to let him know how it was going. I didn’t want to get hopes up and risk a crushing blow for both of us if I was excluded. However, the blow never came. It was determined that I was a perfect match and was cleared. I was brought to tears knowing that I had made it and that Tom was also approved for surgery. July 25 was one of the best days of my life… Donation day.

Recovery was tough and in many respects uncomfortable, but at no time did I regret my decision. The knowledge that Tom was actually doing great and was already showing significant improvement immediately after surgery made it all worth it. In fact, my life has improved in so many ways since donating. Not the least of the many benefits is the fact that my friend, now brother, is going to be around for many years. My new and much larger extended family is a gift in itself. Knowing that what I did has helped another person is a major blessing that I can’t put into words.

If my story can influence even one person to start the process, then it is all worth it. The number of people that can be affected by a single donation is more than you think. Please consider donation, You will bever regret it.