Donated a kidney March 8th, 2007
Kristy-An started working in dialysis in 2000 as a tech. A patient of hers, named Michael, started dialysis in 2004. It was not her plan nor his for them to find love, but they did. He was 32 years old when he started dialysis. Now Michael is 10 years post transplant and married to Kristy-An. Every year on his "kidneyversary" for his transplant date, it is very emotional for the both of them. Kristy-An and Michael have a bond that only a select few will ever understand.
For Kristy-An the reasoning behind her decision to donate a kidney, was that she wanted to keep Michael around longer. He was her patient first, then husband and finally kidney transplant recipient.
Since Kristy-An worked as a dialysis tech and transplant coordinator for a clinic she knew quite a bit about the process of kidney donation. Once she found out that she was a match, they had 6 weeks to get everything ready and finish cross match and other testing. She didn't get her cardiology clearance until the day before the surgery. There was also some family planning that had to take place. Kristy-Ann's parents came to stay in town to care for her son who was 5 years old at the time.
As far as surgery, Kristy-An was back to work in 3 weeks and Michael was back after 4 months. He was also able to go back to school for his bachelors degree in social work.
Even though Kristy-An had an amazing support system, her family and friends were still surprised by her decision, excited and had a little bit of fear regarding the surgery.
She believes something to think about as far as becoming a living kidney donor is that you are giving someone another chance at life. With Kristy-An working in dialysis, she sees both sides. As a worker and a family member. It affects all family members, not just the patient. Sadly over the years, she has seen many patients' families bail on them. That is heart breaking to her, because those patients did not ask for this diagnosis. Kristy-An does not take life or things for granted. Life is too short.
For the past 10 years Kristy-An and Michael have been walk chairs for their local kidney walk.
Location: Millsboro, Delaware