P. donates Kidney to B. - February 21, 2011
Unselfish Gift rewards the giver!!!
P. might be a little impulsive. But her impulsiveness isn’t the kind that makes her book vacations or buy things. It makes her do things that most people would consider outside their comfort zone.
“We belong to BC Hydro Power Pioneers,” says P referring to her husband, R. “It’s for retired BC Hydro Employees (and spouses). “We heard via the grapevine - that B (Also a BC Hydro Power Pioneer) needed a kidney”
Shortly afterward she ran into B’s wife, A, downtown. “I stepped out of the car and there was B’s wife on the street. I said “I heard B needs a kidney.” She said “Yes he does” and I said “What blood type is he?” She said , “O”, and I said, “I am too”.
P got a blood test and found out it was completely compatible and she told B she would be happy to donate a kidney.
The next step after that was to fill out a questionnaire and to go to ST. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver for a complete check up. At this point, P’s generosity already started to pay back when the doctors found something no ordinary medical would find.
“It’s the best medical anyone could have. They found one of my parathyroid glands was stealing calcium from my bones.” Every specialist said “You are so lucky. They wouldn’t have found out until you had a broken a major bone or until all the teeth fell out of your mouth.”
She says some of her symptoms included tiredness, aching muscles and thinning hair. They took that parathyroid gland out and P says within 15 minutes the calcium levels changed.
“It was really life saving for me. It was a blessing in disguise. My doctor said they never would have found it”. P laughs as she recalls her first thoughts when she woke up.
“The first thing I said was “ When can I do the Kidney transplant?” The nurse said, “I don’t know, I’ll go and check.”
The date was set for Monday, January 17. P says there were lots of papers to fill out and people to talk to, all to ensure she was okay with this decision. Through all of it, P says all her expenses to Vancouver were paid by the
Kidney Foundation and everything was done to make sure she was comfortable with her decision.
“There was no pressure. You can back out at any time. If you need an excuse at any time the doctor will give you a medical reason so you won’t have to feel embarrassed.” But I said, “If I’m going to back out, I’ll tell B myself.”
P’s kidney s were working at a healthy 50/50 rate and B’s were at 10 percent.
Then came the day of the surgery. P laughs as she says the hardest part of the whole procedure was getting up at 6:30 in the morning and not eating. She was in surgery promptly at 7:50 am and at 11:20 am she was out.
“My first question was, ‘How’s B doing?’ B was still in surgery because it is a longer operation to put the kidney in than to take it out. A few hours later he was done, and both had come through with flying colours. They were such a close match that B just needed small doses of anti-rejection drugs. The next day P went down the hallway to visit him.
The two of us were giddy. We were giggling, we were a couple of nut cases that morning. He said to his daughter, “I can go swimming with you again.”
P was out of hospital on Wednesday, other than not lifting anything heavy for six weeks, she resumed her normal activities. Giving a kidney, she explains, isn’t scary or a big deal.
“People are afraid of stepping forward; it’s a ‘live’ donation, I want to take the fear away. There’s nothing to it. It starts out with a simple phone call and a blood test.”
She says the other kidney soon realizes it needs to do extra work and it accommodates. It’s a great gift to give another person and if this technology had been around half a century ago it would have helped her family.
“Fifty years ago I had an uncle die at the age of 35 of kidney disease. He left five kids under the age of seven. It was my mother’s half brother and I remember my mother being very upset.”
Perhaps that’s what helped P make up her mind so quickly to be a donor. But P won’t take a lot of credit for what she did. It’s just who she is.
Someone said to me, “You gave him life.” I said “ I didn’t give him life; I gave him the chance to live it."
Article by Leah Blain of Salmon Arm
(Picture of P and B a couple of days after the surgery).
This is the story I like to share here . I know both personally ; we belong to the same retirees group. My suggestion is to connect with Service Clubs , such as Lions, Rotary …someone maybe as inspired as Mrs. P.
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