By in Personal

Gratitude By Death

June 20, 2014 changed my life.

I was walking the half mile from my worksite to the parking lot. It was 97 degrees and I am wearing my heavy denim jeans, which makes it a wee bit warmer. My phone rings and I have no interest in answering it. Though, it could be my wife.

I pick up and it is THE call. The one I had waited on for over FIVE years. The transplant call.

All types of chaos ensues. Long story short, 24 hours later I had a functioning kidney.

Usually, the thing with transplants is someone had to die in order for someone else's life to be prolonged. I had no information on the deceased donor other than it was a nineteen year old person. To me that put quite a few visions into my head.

Parents greiving for their child have to take the time to sign forms where parts of their child will be taken and put into people who will live. There could be some conflicted emotions there.

Or perhaps this nineteen year old was married and had a child? Maybe a mother or father lost their young spouse and will raise their child alone?

But those thoughts didn't last long.

I only thought of the donor from then on. The sacrifice may have been known or unknown to the donor, but I am thankful for a life without dialysis. I am thankful for a life without machines to keep me alive two weeks at a time.

My gratitude to my anonymous hero is palpable as my blood runs through the donated kidney.

My thanks is given every day by living each one to the fullest.

Image Credit » Image is mine.

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MegL wrote on January 14, 2015, 6:57 PM

It is such a shame that someone has to die for another to be able to live and there are many more donors needed. At least you are grateful. One person (George Best) formerly a footballing celebrity damaged his liver by heavy drinking. he was given the gift of a healthy liver from a donor. But instead of being grateful, he continued to drink heavily and died. Someone else could have had that liver and made good use of it. Whoever signed the forms agreeing to that liver transplant must feel their gift was thrown back in their face! I know a woman who needed a liver transplant and got one. She has to take drugs for the rest of her life but she is looking after her gift with great care because it allowed her to have a baby and she wants to see her daughter grow up.

houserulesradio wrote on January 14, 2015, 7:11 PM

Indeed, I will be swallowing pills every 12 hours, but the new lease on life outshines anything else!

msiduri wrote on January 14, 2015, 7:27 PM

My best wishes for a long life. Take the gift and run with it!

isabbbela wrote on January 14, 2015, 7:51 PM

Wow... it is indeed weird to think someone needs to die in order for you to live. But I'm so happy you got this transplant and wish you all the best!

grandma20121 wrote on January 14, 2015, 9:26 PM

Its true that someone had to die in order for you to receive your new kidney but I am certain the donor wanted to help someone live even after this persons life ended, consider it a gift from Heaven, I am happy to hear you got your kidney transplant.

zabelle51 wrote on January 14, 2015, 10:42 PM

I am quite sure that the grieving family is comforted by the thought that their loss has meant a new life for you, it is a great gift. :)

angelaterese13 wrote on January 21, 2015, 9:27 PM

What all does the donor's family know about you? This was a very thoughtful, interesting post. Thank you for letting us know all of your private thoughts about this experience.

traci.ruffner wrote on February 6, 2015, 8:02 PM

Oh wow! I didn't realize you were a transplant recipient. My older sister received a heart transplant 20 years ago, and my younger sister received a heart transplant 2 years ago. If you are looking for a support group of any kind, I can put you in touch with them. =) They have both made so many transplant friends over the years.