My 18 year old son, Tyson, was diagnosed in February 2018 with IgA Nephropathy. His blood pressure was elevated during and after a minor surgery in January. He’s doctor ran blood tests and we were sent to Norton Children’s in Louisville. There it was determined through a kidney biopsy that it was indeed IgA. His health progressively worsened, and by May he was starting home peritoneal dialysis nightly. In June he was hospitalized after having 2 seizures due to his high blood pressure. We were told he would need a kidney transplant. He was placed on the national registry and I was being vetted and tested as a potential donor. We received word September 5 I was eligible for donation, and on October 9, at Norton Children’s, I gave him his second chance at life. He’s a very athletic kid, who plays soccer for a traveling club as well as his high school. He missed the spring season with his club, and his senior season with his high school team. He’s been told he’ll be able to practice and play this coming spring with his club. He will graduate with honors May 2019 from McCracken County High School. He has applied to and has been accepted to five different Kentucky universities, and has chosen University of Kentucky. He will major in Biology with hopes of attending dental school and becoming and orthodontist. He has never once asked “why me?”. He’s never refused his medicine or a dialysis treatment. Even on his worst days prior to transplant, he went to school or work (yes, he even has a part time job) and tried his hardest to get through the day. Since he’s been home from the transplant, he’s starting to go back to the kid he was before he became sick-smiling, whistling and singing around the house, teasing his little sister, and hanging out with friends. Tyson on his first day back to school, post-transplant His first day back at school is today (11/26) and he even drove himself to school. I never imagined my family would be on the receiving end of an organ donation. We (myself, my husband, and our three children) are all registered donors, and I just felt that when my time was over, my organs and tissue would be recovered and life would go on for others. I never imagined us ever having to rely on another person’s selflessness to save one of my children. I carried my phone everywhere and we made plans and back up plans in case we got the call saying there was a kidney before all my testing was complete. I can’t imagine the pain and frustration of the ones who have been waiting for years on the registry. Tyson’s story has been on our local news and in the newspaper, as well as a couple social media outlets. I truly hope someone read or saw his story and it helped sway him/her into becoming a donor. I [...]
When I was 27 I delivered my first child, a son, with a few complications, I lost a ton of blood. This put a major strain on my otherwise healthy heart. Less than 3 months later I was laying in CCU fighting for my life. I was transferred to Vanderbilt University Heart Center with the thought that if I didn't receive a heart, I would die. They were able to stabilize me for the next 8 years. Finally the day came where My heart had gotten bad enough that I had to have a heart pump put in. I had surgery to implant the heart pump on October 14, 2015 and then due to some complications I very quickly, 3 months and 12 days later, received my gift of life on January 26, 2016. My body fought hard. Recovering from 2 major open heart surgeries only 3 months apart was no easy feat. I'm very thankful for my donor and would not change a thing about my story. My son is now 11, he was 8 at the time of transplant. I'm grateful and thankful to be able to spend these 3 precious years with him. I hope to spend another 30 or more with him. I think everyone should be a donor. My son would be without a mom had I not received a heart. There are so many more stories like mine but they don't get the happy ending because they never receive an organ. Please donate. Sign up today.
On March 18, 2015 my sister and I sat in the hospital room holding our mom's hands as her tired weary eyes looked at us. She squeezed our hands as we talked to her about her deteriorated condition and how much we loved her and didn't want her to suffer. Through many tears and hours of talking about what should we do, are we making the right decision, even though we had had several discussions with mom before of what she would want when this time had come. We held her hands and said our goodbyes as the medication dripped her off into a restful slumber. We sat there for hours watching her move in the bed, soft moans and groans as if she were dreaming, many visits from the wonderful nurses making sure she rested comfortably. Then the moment of, she's not breathing, I don't feel a heartbeat anymore, fear, horror, pain and relief for her all at once. The nurses confirmed she left us. We weren't afraid for her because her spiritual beliefs were strong and unwavering, we were afraid for us, my sister and I, as we would never get to hear her laugh or feel her touch again. As we walked out to our cars that night, leaving behind us a part of us that felt so lost and empty, my cell phone rang. Literally moments after leaving our loved one a phone call reaching out asking if we would consider tissue donation. At first I was appalled, upset, mad that someone wouldn't even give me time to grieve before requesting such a thing. Then within moments I realized helping others in need was something my mother was known best for, even though she had spent her entire life on crutches and in a wheelchair from childhood polio, she fought harder and stronger to help others than any other able body person I knew. So the answer was YES. YES we will donate her cornea to help others see. Within hours the procedures were done to make her eyes available to the organ donor program. And as terrible and horrible as it felt losing our mom, it was like a huge hug to our hearts to know that even with her death, she was still able to continue helping others through being a cornea donor. The tricycle is a family reminder, my aunt would pedal the tricycle and carry my mom on the back as her little legs couldn't push the pedals. The basket represent always carrying love and help with you wherever you go. We had the tricycle engraved on moms headstone.