My dad's one kidney was failing, and I did not want his quality of life compromised by having to go on dialysis. He spends his life doing things for others, and the world is a better place with him in it.
The decision-making process to be a living donor is not easy. As relatively simple as the procedure and recovery are, I had to consider the unknown future of the health of my wife, three children, and myself, but the ability to improve a loved one's life is a once in a lifetime gift. People were very encouraging and I was told that life was no different with one kidney and that the feeling of extending someone's life would last a lifetime. Being a living kidney donor you have a rare opportunity to extend someone's life without compromising your own.
Gearing up to see if I could donate to my dad was fairly straight forward and included a lot of blood work and scans. I read as much as possible and asked questions of living donors and hospital transplant personnel.
As far as the procedure, the transplant staff at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, California were great resources gearing up to the surgery. I had a donor card to show any time services were rendered so that billing would go to the recipient's insurance.
The recovery as far as surgery wasn't too bad in that I missed one and a half weeks of work.
Our kidney transplant took place November 5, 2014. My dad and I are both doing great. I feel good about being able to give something to my dad for all he does for our family and so many more. If I were to give one word to describe the experience it would be uplifting.
Location: Los Angeles, CA