Live Donor Transplants
Becoming a donor is a profound act of selflessness and often the best chance someone else has for long-term survival. Find out more about living donation for kidney transplants or blood and marrow transplants. Visit the Living Donors Online Web site.
A bond grows stronger
Kimberly Weathers considers her nephew, Jeffery, more like a little brother. Only four years separated them in age, and they have always been close. When she learned in 2007 that 25-year-old Jeffery had kidney disease and needed a transplant, Kimberly’s heart dropped.
“I went from being really upset to being determined that something had to be done immediately,” she explained.
While Jeffery started dialysis, Kimberly added her name to the list of family members who might be living donors.
“There was no doubt in my mind that I would donate my kidney to him if we were a match,” she said.
After the testing was completed, she received a call from MUSC with the news that she was a positive match for Jeffery. She and Jeffery scheduled their respective surgeries right before Thanksgiving, figuring her kidney donation was a gift for which they could both be thankful. With her family and fiancée there for support, she came through the surgery just fine and woke up to find Jeffery across the hall from her, in possession of her kidney.
“He came across the hall to visit me,” she remembered. “I figured if he can get out of bed, then I can, too. Pretty soon we were walking down the hall together. On the fourth day, they released me.”
Kimberly said the worst aspect of donating her kidney was difficulty walking upright for about three weeks. The pain gradually subsided and she went back to work six weeks after the surgery. Jeffery, on the other hand, bounced back much more quickly.
“I am so happy that my kidney is working for him — it’s such a blessing to see him healthy and having a great time with his family and friends. When we call or text each other, our screen name is ‘the other half.' If I had it to do again, I would not hesitate.”