This post was submitted by Hanna, a 29 year old Medical Assistant that lives in Ohio. This is her live kidney donation story.
In October 2018, my co-worker's son, Brandon, came to the doctor's office not feeling well. He thought he just had a nasty cold and complained of fatigue. I was his medical assistant coincidentally that day, so the doctor saw him and ordered bloodwork that I had to draw on him. Later that day we got the test results back and I informed my coworker that he needed to take his son to the ER as soon as possible. He was in stage 5 kidney failure at the young age of 20!
Everything happened so fast. They started him on dialysis immediately and he was in the hospital for a week. They finally sent him home and set him up with at-home dialysis as he was put on a waiting list for a cadaver kidney. My coworker eventually returned to work a week later. I remember talking to him in the break room asking him how his son was doing and if they knew when people could start getting tested to see if they are matches. He said that information would be coming soon. I smiled at him as I wrote my number on a post-it note and said call me when you get the information. He’s going to be okay, I’m going to be his match.
My coworker, Don, had a tear running down the left cheek, I had a tear running down my right cheek. We hugged and I walked away. A few weeks passed and Don finally received the information for testing. I called and set up my appointment immediately. The end of January I had my testing. Early February I got the call stating that I was a perfect match for Brandon! I was ecstatic, but I knew I would be his match in my heart. The nurse told me that we had the same blood type and that our tissues and antibodies reacted negatively, so there was less of a chance for rejection.... AMAZING!
The next step was going through an extensive head to toe physical to make sure I was healthy enough for surgery. A few weeks later, I found out that I was cleared for surgery and scheduled for my pre-op testing, more blood-work and meeting with a few people.
The only way I can describe this whole experience is that GOD put this on my heart and lead me to this opportunity. My faith has brought me to giving this young man a second chance at life! Brandon and I will forever share a bond and I am blessed beyond words to share a part of myself with such an amazing young man! Before his diagnosis he was working two jobs, going to school full time, saving for a car, and enjoyed roller coasters! My wish is for him to return to all of the things he loves and is passionate about. We will get through this together. Kidney buddies for life!
Hanna and Brandon underwent a successful live kidney donation surgery on June 19, 2019.