Orange County, CA
Living Kidney Donor
“Be good humans!”
Los Angeles Radio DJ Brian Phelps always signs off the air with “BE GOOD HUMANS!” I try to live by this every day.
In February of 2010, after suffering from kidney failure for the past four years, my friend Bill was rushed to the Emergency Room in grave condition. As I lay in bed that night and prayed for Bill, with doctors not expecting him to live through the night, I prayed that I may help Bill in some way if he survived. Being a universal, Type O Positive blood donor, I thought I could give blood should our friend need another blood transfusion.
The next morning, Bill’s wife called and informed us that Bill survived through the night, but his only hope for recovery would be a kidney transplant. Dialysis would only buy a little time and Bill was facing a three-year wait on the transplant list due to his blood type. When I asked what Bill’s blood type was, Stacy’s reply left me in silence. Type O Positive. I knew the clear choice and path God put before me.
I started the testing to see if I was healthy enough to donate and I was. Now that I was done, Bill needed to get healthy enough for the transplant. Bill’s health gradually improved, but in May of 2010 he got very sick for a second time from a staph infection in his dialysis port and had to have two blood transfusions, invalidating all of our prior testing. After retesting it was found we were once again a perfect match.
On July 2010, I became a living donor by giving one of my kidneys to Bill. He is now living a healthy life, enjoys spending time with his wife, and raising their two daughters.
In the Bible, John 15:13 says “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” As a living donor, I get to see how the gift of life changes a family and a community. My wife, a former firefighter, once said people call me a hero, “Everyone thinks that policemen and firemen are heroes by risking their lives,” she said. “That’s our job.” She also said a hero is someone who knows the risk, and takes it anyway, by placing another’s need ahead of their own.
You can become someone’s hero by finding out what you can do to become a living kidney donor!