Kidney Donors Are Good Samaritians

Several people have asked about ways to help even if they did not match my blood type. It is possible to still donate and help me, plus a number of people.

In an earlier post, I briefly discussed “Good Samaritan” donation. This is also called a non-directed donation – when a donor donates to a stranger who has a non-compatible donor. This type of donation can lead to a domino chain that may impact many people. For instance, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has had a living donor chain of 51 donations now – and it all started with an altruistic woman who approached the hospital without having a specific person designed for donation.  She was approved for donation and they found a recipient who had a non-compatible donor. That non-compatible donor donated to someone else and so the chain started.

So, even if you don’t match me, there are still options to help me and others!

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.

A living donor candidate is a person who is healthy, well-informed and makes a voluntary decision to donate one of their kidneys. Living donors must be over 18 and in good general health, have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 30, a non-smoker, with no evidence of significant high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, heart disease or hepatitis.

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.

Be Inspired — Give Life!

Dominique (Nikki) Brooks

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Video: All About Kidney Donation and Transplantation

God gave us two kidneys, one to use and one to give. Powerful thought.

In this video, Lloyd Ratner, MD, Director, Renal and Pancreatic Transplant Program, tells prospective patients, kidney donors, and families what they need to know about kidney donation and transplantation. In this direct and engaging presentation, Dr. Ratner provides a wealth of information about the advantages of living donor kidney donation; laparoscopic and open surgical techniques; what donors and recipients should expect during and after surgery; post-operative pain and followup; and post-donation pregnancy.

As the doctor says, “Once you recover from the kidney donation, you should be 100% completely normal.”

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.

A living donor candidate is a person who is healthy, well-informed and makes a voluntary decision to donate one of their kidneys. Living donors must be over 18 and in good general health, have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 30, a non-smoker, with no evidence of significant high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, heart disease or hepatitis.

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.

Be Inspired — Give Life!

Dominique (Nikki) Brooks

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.

What to Expect After Donating a Kidney

Potential kidney donors have been asking what to expect afterwards.  Becoming a living donor does require a work up and a surgical procedure, but the surgical procedure to donate a kidney has evolved over the years. Laproscopic surgery with just 3 or 4 tiny incisions in the abdomen has become the standard procedure for donation in most transplant centers around the USA.

With laproscopic surgery, the donor can usually be discharged from the hospital in 1-2 days and can return to work shortly thereafter depending on the donor’s job.  As with all surgical procedures, there is a small risk of complications but most can be managed by the hospital physicians. The transplant team will work hard to prevent these complications.

The donor will be discharged with pain medication and typically stool softeners but will only have to take them during the immediate recovery period. The kidney donor should be able to return to normal activities – including exercise – approximately 4-6 weeks after surgery (we personally know someone that donated a kidney and quickly went back to running marathons!). There are no dietary restrictions after kidney donation that were not present before the surgery. For women, it is still possible to get pregnant but it would be best to wait for 3-6 months after the donation to let your body adjust to having one kidney.

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.

A living donor candidate is a person who is healthy, well-informed and makes a voluntary decision to donate one of their kidneys. Living donors must be over 18 and in good general health, have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 30, a non-smoker, with no evidence of significant high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, heart disease or hepatitis.

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.

Be Inspired — Give Life!

Dominique (Nikki) Brooks

Kidney Donation: The Big Give

Donating an organ is the ultimate gift. However, as living donation is a huge decision, there are often many questions about the process. It’s important that potential donors understand the possible benefits and risks to the process. I am glad to talk to people who have questions but I think that having links to outside information can help someone determine if living donation is right for them.

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.

A living donor candidate is a person who is healthy, well-informed and makes a voluntary decision to donate one of their kidneys. Living donors must be over 18 and in good general health, have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 30, a non-smoker, with no evidence of significant high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, heart disease or hepatitis.

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.

Be Inspired — Give Life!

Dominique (Nikki) Brooks