Apr 25, 2014 8:00 AM

Author: Stefanie Mathewson

I have been a blood donor since I was 18 and found out that my blood type is universal and can be used for anyone. In September, I saw a story about a kidney donation that turned in to a chain of donations and I decided to look into the donation process. I went to the Intermountain Donor Center and asked a lot of questions. 

I was blown away by how many people were on the donor list and how sick they are. I asked to be put through the testing to see if I could possibly be a match for one of these people. The amazing people at the University of Utah hospital helped facilitate everything that needed to happen for this to become a reality. After many, many tests, I was told that I was a match for someone and we scheduled the surgery.  

I knew this was the right thing to do from the very beginning. Everyone in my family was very supportive—from my daughter to my 93 year old grandmother. While in the hospital, I was able to meet my recipient and his family. We have kept in touch and he and my little kidney are doing well. 

My donation was also supposed to start a chain. I donated to my recipient, his daughter (who was his donor but they didn’t match) donated to another lady. The other lady also had a donor who didn’t match. This donor was scheduled to donate to the person on the top of the donor list, but he became too ill for the surgery.

There has been so much I have learned about the donation process and the body’s ability to function just as efficiently with one kidney. I am in great health and have rebounded quickly from my donation and can truly say it has been a great experience for me.

living donor kidney transplant

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