My friend, Bruce Clark, is in need of a kidney.
I spoke with a friend who donated a kidney over twenty years ago. She is a nurse and I thought she would have a good perspective both personally and professionally.
First thing she said is that the process is so much easier now that it is done laparoscopically. I guess most people realize that but it is a huge difference.
Secondly, as is often said, she has had absolutely no ill effects living with one kidney. None. People are sometimes born with only one kidney, it is okay to donate one.
The third thing she said was unexpected. She said as she came out of the process that she was overcome with a feeling of deep bliss. She thinks the feeling stemmed from the depth of the profound gift she was giving. She followed up with this email:
“about the bliss… when I felt it, I couldn’t even begin to describe it so I didn’t talk about it with anyone for a while. Then after I returned home and was feeling well enough, I went to the gym. In the locker room I ran into xxxx, I knew she had also donated a kidney to her father because they talked about it on the news. We talked briefly in the locker room about our experiences, and before I said anything about the deep peace I felt, she said she felt something like that, too, when she woke up from the surgery. So, I didn’t just imagine it. It’s a thing!”
I am sharing this in hopes that it will encourage potential donors. It is indeed a very deep and profound gift. Medical expenses for living organ donors are 100% covered, and inquires to the transplantion center from potential donors are 100% confidential.
Bruce and I were High School friends in Des Moines in the early sixties and when I saw him again recently there was the same wonderful twinkle in his eye. I don’t mean that as sentimentality. That twinkle held humor, lightheartedness, wisdom and hard won grace from a life of upholding values held steadfast and dear.
Bruce is seated at right in the picture below.
If you are considering being a living donor please use links below to contact Bruce Clark's Transplant Center. Begin by completing the donor questionnaire
There are currently 120,000 people waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant in the U.S. Of these, 100,000 await kidney transplants.
The median wait time for a kidney transplant is 3-5 years and can vary depending on health, compatibility, and where you live.
In 2014, 17,107 kidney transplants took place in the U.S. Of these, 11,570 came from deceased donors and 5,537 came from living donors.
Every 14 minutes someone is added to the kidney transplant waitlist.
A kidney from a living donor lasts longer and begins functioning more quickly than a kidney from a deceased donor.
In 1995, kidney donation became minimally invasive with a procedure called laparoscopic nephrectomy, which only requires four small incisions. Hospital stay is typically only 3 days after this operation.
Not blood type compatible with your recipient to be a living donor? Kidney Paired Donation (the “kidney swap” program) enables incompatible candidates with a living donor to receive a kidney from a compatible donor.
Last year, over 700 living donor kidney transplants occurred using Kidney Paired Donation.
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