A First Hand Account: Living Kidney Donation

This is a first-hand account from a person who is already a living kidney donor from 2 years ago:

I am a good friend of The Brooks family. When I heard that Nikki is in need of a kidney, I wanted to help her. How? How can I be of help to Nikki? By telling you my story; because I am certain that my story will inspire you to consider yourself as a possible kidney donor for Nikki.

The thought of donating an organ can be intimidating and overwhelming. I should know, as I went through the same emotions. But what I also know now is that if I had to do it all over again, I would do it in a heartbeat. In fact, if I had another kidney to spare, I’d give the gift of life to someone who is badly in need of it.

You see, about two years ago a loved one in my family lost both their kidneys to an auto immune condition. I wanted to see them return back to their healthy life as soon as possible and hence I decided to donate one of my kidneys to them. After undergoing a thorough evaluation, I was deemed a perfect candidate for the donation. And yet, I was a bit concerned and was worried about the impact of donating a kidney to my active life style and the changes I personally would have to make to lead a normal life. And while knowing that the transplant center would not approve a person who is likely to have health complications related to the lack of a kidney later in life as a donor was very helpful, what was reassuring was to talk to someone who has donated a kidney before. There is no substitute to hearing the process and what to expect — before, during, and after the donation — from someone who has been through it all. A couple of donors spent time educating me and allaying my fears and I am paying that forward by offering to spend time with you and walk you through my experience, as you consider doing the most generous act of wanting to donate a kidney to Nikki. 

I was discharged from the hospital the second day after my surgery and started to work the third week after my surgery. Being active, drinking plenty of water, and walking around speeds up the recovery. I have returned to my extremely active life style now; so much so that I don’t feel any different now than when I had two kidneys. The only thing I pay particular attention to is to keep myself hydrated extremely well. Other than that I am living my life the exact same way I did before my organ donation. 

The doctors, nurses, coordinators, and entire transplant program staff assured me that both the donor and the recipient can return back to their normal lives after a transplant. And they were absolutely spot on, as both I and the recipient of my kidney are healthy and leading a very active life.

Nothing can be more fulfilling than to know that your generous act of organ donation saved someone’s life. 

If anyone wants to share their story as a living kidney donor, please send me a message through my Facebook page.

While it is a big decision to donate a kidney, living donors can save lives. If you think it might be something that you are interested in, you can help by calling us at 770-310-2426 for info to do a 15-minute phone screening on being a living donor. You can also call the St. Luke’s Transplant Department directly to do the screening at 832-355-4100.  Just tell them your planned recipient is Dominique (Nikki) Brooks.

Thanks for helping us find a living kidney donor.  Please spread the word and/or call us at 770-310-2426 for info to do a 15-minute phone screening or St. Luke’s Transplant Department directly at 832-355-4100 for me, Dominique Brooks.

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