Scared parents - son considering becomin... - Kidney Transplant

Kidney Transplant
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Scared parents - son considering becoming a donor

Hi there. I'm new to this community. Our 25-year-old son has undergone evaluation and is strongly considering becoming a living donor in a paired exchange. The recipient is not a family member and my husband and I don't know him. The data we read about donors' long-term health is reassuring, but candidly, we're not feeling rational right now and just can't imagine the surgery...even though our son's an adult and this is completely his decision. He wishes we'd just focus on the generosity of his gesture, but we have so many concerns we're just not there yet. He needs to purchase health insurance later this year and we're worried about him getting coverage. Are there any living donors out there who'd be willing to discuss their experience and life after donation? It would be enormously helpful. Thank you so much!

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Hello. While I realize that it will likely will not be the case for your son, I speak to my living donor regularly and she has had no complications whatsoever. She followed her checkup protocol and after 1 year has not had to return to the Dr. I also had a half brother who registered in the exchange when he found he was not a match and he stayed registered as a donor even after my transplant. I hope you find the information to ease your concerns. Your son is going to give someone a new life. Literally. Best of luck to all of you.


Thank you so much. Very reassuring.

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Hi Tracy

You and your husband have done a wonderful job raising a very special human being!

I’m a donor who donated to my husband just about a year ago and my surgery and recovery have been very easy. I was 51 so much older than your son.

What I can tell you is that my sister in law donated my husband’s 1st kidney when she was in her early 30s when she was married with 2 young children. She recovered similarly and is still doing great. It is major surgery with risks albeit low but I hope you can find peace in your son’s choice. The protesting is very thorough and for your son’s benefit.

There is now a voucher program that your son may be eligible for that may help you take comfort with his decision.


Thank you so much for this. What is the voucher program?


The National Kidney Registry NKR) is always seeking to find more donors for people on the transplant lists so they have many programs to incentivize donors. I just heard about the voucher program at the NKR gala. I cannot benefit as a directed donor but perhaps your son can!

As I understand it, he may be eligible for a voucher that can be used by your son or a number of individuals he may designate. Contact the NKR as I’m sure that can tell you all the details. Happy to answer any pre-op, op, or post op questions you may have! My surgery was in NYC.


Hello, Your son is amazing for wanting to share his spare. My mother donated her spare to me 8 years ago when she was 52 years old. She has recovered without any issues and lives a normal life.


That's very good to hear! Thanks, and I'm glad you're doing well.


Your son is special. As parents you and your husband clearly did an amazing job raising him.

I received a transplant close to 2 years ago. The donor was my daughter. She recovered quickly with no after effects. Two facts should give you comfort. First, should he donate and some day develop kidney disease he will go to the top of the list. Second, the transplant center professionals will fully vet him right up to the point of surgery. They are incredibly careful with donors.

All the best to him for this selfless act for a complete stranger.


Wow what an incredible daughter. You’ve given me a lot of comfort. Thank you. All the nest to you and your family b


Hi Tracy. Your son is doing a wonderful life saving gesture for sure. Please thank him. My husbands aunt is being tested to donate to him. The gift means everything to us and it changes one’s quality of life to live again fully with being sick. It’s such a high success rate for the donor and recipient. Less than 4% have issues. As for the donor, you could find out the stat


Tracy, My wife donated her kidney to me 6 years ago and for fun she goes with me once a year to visit the doctor during my check up. She was out of the hospital in 3 days back to work in a couple weeks and we were both cleared to go back scuba diving 1 year post transplant. Couple of years ago she counseled a young lady from our church who wanted to donate and did. That young lady about 28 has since gotten married and is now pregnant. So you can have a great life on one kidney.


Hi Tracybw, I know exactly how you feel as my 31 year old son has just given a kidney to me. At first, I refused saying that I did not want him to donate; however, he contacted my coordinator directly and arranged to be tested. He recovered very quickly and was home a few days after the operation. He just has a few small scars on his abdomen which you can hardly see now. He does not understand why everyone makes such a big deal of it; he says that it was just a few days of discomfort rather than pain. The biggest issue was the discomfort when he laughed! His father is very funny, so we were both lying down and holding our stomachs as we were laughing so much. The worry and imagination prior to the operation were much worse that the operation and post transplant period. Research has shown that donors tend to have a higher quality of life score than non-donors. Best of luck to you and your amazing son.


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