Donating A Kidney To A Stranger- Mary Hart's story

"I had seen a program on Discovery Health Channel about two brothers and the older was dying of liver failure and his brother donated 65% of his liver and by the end of the program, I was sobbing. and I thought, I'm 38, healthy, no kids, and I thought can I do something like this ?" "The beautiful thing about humans are we are born with two kidneys and so we've seen a rise in awareness for organ donation because of the shortage of number of donors for number of people on waiting list which now tops 100,000. People will step forward to donate to people they don't know out of the goodness of their heart. " "I did a lot more research and talked to my doctor talking to a Dr. Delmonaco at Boston General. They had not had a lot of non-directed donors, people who aren't donating from a family member or friend, so they were really kind of hesitant and do a lot of background to make sure I didn't have guilt reasons for doing it or I wasn't getting paid to do it. Testing was pretty extensive. " "Ultimately you have to be perfectly healthy to be a donor. The difference in an altruistic donation is they do have some extra psych testing to know that there is not coercion. some underlying connection." "They told me they were going to do this laparoscopically. They showed me with an anatomical model what they'd be doing. The small incision, cameras and expand my belly so they could get in. They really were very thorough and I had no questions. " "Now you have younger people who are single and all and were a little hesitant and who hadn't had children. We're able to do it with little incisions and in many cases we are able to deliver the kidney through c-section incision, so truly can wear bikinis and do everything they did before." " I really had no expectations as to when I would feel myself again. but I felt better faster than I expected. I was supposed to be out up to six weeks and I went back to work 2.5 weeks after, because I was bored and wanted to go with people. I wanted to go to work. "Clearly you can live a full life. All insurance tables and all say it doesn't alter your life if you have no other medical conditions. Truly we are only taking kidneys for people wanting to donate and for people who are perfectly healthy and wanting to donate that second kidney." "As far as I know, he and his family are doing well. I haven't checked in a couple of years, but as far as I know, no news is good news. "Words can't put into how important it is in what they are doing. The impact, if that person is able to go back to work. It's a domino affect of how many people they are helping by their act of generosity. "I would absolutely do it again" The MUSC Transplant Center is one of the best places to come for a kidney transplant because of outstanding surgical outcomes and one of the shortest waiting times in the nation. If you have any questions about kidney transplant as a donor or recipient talk to a nurse by calling 792-1414.