Donated my Kidney: May 20, 2020

Posted by Tammi @danhoe, May 16 12:52pm

On Wednesday at 5 am, I report for surgery to donate my left kidney to an unknown person. During this strange time in our world it’s time for patience and understanding. Although I have to be dropped off for surgery, I know others will be with me in their hearts. I wonder who will be receiving my kidney? Are they make or female? How old is the recipient? Will it be local or will my kidney travel? I have been so pleased with my team at Mayo handling the donation testing. My nurse, Zach, has been with me since day 1 of testing and keeps me well informed. It’s almost surreal that this journey is about to take the biggest step. Any tips or advice are welcome.

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Sorry no tips but my hat is off to you.
You are very unselfish and are a credit to all.
You are at the right place to have this done but still praying everything goes as planned.

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@danhoe Hi and Welcome to connect, I just want to add my thanks for being a donor and I'm sure whoever is receiving this beautiful gift will appreciate as much as I know all of us who have received the gift of Life appreciate it.
Have a Blessed Day
Dana

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I don’t have any tips but I want to say a huge THANK YOU for this unselfish act. I’m a recent recipient and I’m grateful every day for the donors who came forward for me through the paired donation program.

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That's so exciting @danhoe! Things are probably quite different right now than when most of us donated but I'll bet there are also many similarities.

It's too bad that someone can't go in with you but the nurses are amazing at Mayo and hopefully you'll only be in for a day or two. All I really remember is sleeping, walking around and pretending to read but sleeping more.
Do you have specific questions? Someone here is bound to have an answer for almost any non medical question you have. Do you live nearby or will you be staying somewhere for a bit before and after?

I'm technologically challenged so I'm having a hard time finding links from donors but here are 2
– Post donation: check in one year later https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/a-post-donation-check-in-one-year-later/
and
– Kidney transplant from the donor's side https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/kidney-transplant-from-the-donor-side/

Let me know what's going on and how you're doing!

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@danhoe, This is absolutely the most wonderful piece of information ever. Thank you for stepping up to the frontline to save a life.
I join the other members of the transplant community in welcoming you to Mayo Connect.

I have found another transplant discussion that I want to add to the ones shared by @mauraacro.
– Living Donor Kidney surgery next Tuesday: Any advice? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/living-donor-kidney-surgery-next-tuesday/

My thoughts will be with you and your recipient on Wednesday.

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Good morning @danhoe! I'm guessing you have a couple of appointments today but nothing like the amount you had for your evaluation. In some ways, the surgery was, for me, easier than the whirlwind of evaluation appointments.
How are you doing? Do you have any questions?
This is an amazing thing you're doing and I'll be thinking of you tomorrow.

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@mauraacro

Good morning @danhoe! I'm guessing you have a couple of appointments today but nothing like the amount you had for your evaluation. In some ways, the surgery was, for me, easier than the whirlwind of evaluation appointments.
How are you doing? Do you have any questions?
This is an amazing thing you're doing and I'll be thinking of you tomorrow.

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@mauraacro, I know that you must have many memories of the day of your own kidney donation surgery. Is there an event or moment that stands out in your mind? If you are comfortable, would you share something here about your amazing day?

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@rosemarya

@mauraacro, I know that you must have many memories of the day of your own kidney donation surgery. Is there an event or moment that stands out in your mind? If you are comfortable, would you share something here about your amazing day?

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Minnesota at 4:45AM in January may have been the biggest shock to my system that day!
After check in and going over a list, I was taken to a pre-op room to get my IV and wait for the surgeon. The most soothing nurse sat with me the whole time, making small talk and being very calming. I don't remember much after being wheeled into surgery besides how bright it was and the surgeon saying they'd give me something to relax.
I remember waking up and telling a nurse I was hungry which made her laugh. My husband came in and we slowly walked around a bit. I slept and walked the rest of the day.
The doctors saw me the next morning, said I was doing well and could leave any time. My husband was surprised when I called to say "come get me". We thought I'd be spending 1 more night (I could have if I wanted to) and he had planned to shop and get things ready while I was gone.
If I had the chance to do it over, I would in an instant. It was amazing, exhilarating and nerve racking while being the easiest and most difficult choice I've ever made.

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Thank you everyone. My surgery was yesterday at the Az Mayo. Everyone has been kind and skillful. I will be going home this afternoon.

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@danhoe

Thank you everyone. My surgery was yesterday at the Az Mayo. Everyone has been kind and skillful. I will be going home this afternoon.

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What a gift you have shared! Thank you! My daughter is gifting her dad a kidney June 2. After the pandemic started, surgery was postponed from April 15 to June. Needless to say, we are all anxious that there are no more delays, but appreciate the care being taken. My very best wishes to you and your recipient! You are changing more lives than you can imagine,❤️

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@danhoe

Thank you everyone. My surgery was yesterday at the Az Mayo. Everyone has been kind and skillful. I will be going home this afternoon.

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Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful gift! Positive thoughts and prayers for you and your recipient as you recover.

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Tammi,

What you have done is amazing, courageous and selfless. Words can not express what your donation will mean to the person receiving this beautiful gift. You are a beacon of hope! I know how transformational a donation like yours can be because I received my kidney from a living donor (my friend Dawn) and I am doing great!

How are you feeling? Do you want to meet your donor someday? What inspired you? I want to know everything…please share as much or little as you feel comfortable with.

Jolinda

P.S.
May God grant you a speedy and pain-free recovery!

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@danhoe

Thank you everyone. My surgery was yesterday at the Az Mayo. Everyone has been kind and skillful. I will be going home this afternoon.

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How are you doing today? You did a great thing and I hope you are getting well taken care of and thoroughly spoiled!
I don't know exactly how altruistic donations go. Do you find out anything about the recipient?

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@mauraacro

How are you doing today? You did a great thing and I hope you are getting well taken care of and thoroughly spoiled!
I don't know exactly how altruistic donations go. Do you find out anything about the recipient?

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Thank you for checking in. I'm doing pretty well, no pain meds except Tylenol since I was released last Thursday. I am very tender in my stomach and get so tired by doing absolutely nothing but I know it takes time. I'm hoping to someday find out about my recipient. I go in next Wed. for my post op appointments.

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@jolinda

Tammi,

What you have done is amazing, courageous and selfless. Words can not express what your donation will mean to the person receiving this beautiful gift. You are a beacon of hope! I know how transformational a donation like yours can be because I received my kidney from a living donor (my friend Dawn) and I am doing great!

How are you feeling? Do you want to meet your donor someday? What inspired you? I want to know everything…please share as much or little as you feel comfortable with.

Jolinda

P.S.
May God grant you a speedy and pain-free recovery!

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Jolinda, Sorry for the delay in response. I had a couple of days where I was extremely weak but thankfully I feel much better. How precious to have that shared gift with your friend, Dawn. I do hope to someday meet the person I who now has my kidney. I wonder about and pray for the person everyday. I also hope to meet the person I started this journey for someday. I heard about a person in my Bible study that had a half sister that she had met once that was in need of a second kidney transplant. Her first didn't work. She has young children and I began praying. It quickly began clear that I was supposed to step up. I filled out paperwork and waited quite awhile before I was contacted. Once I was contacted I had a few weeks of testing and appointments. I was not a match for the person I had named but I found out I could start a chain and potentially help more people by giving my kidney in a paired chain. I agreed to give my kidney to someone with the idea of the person I named being moved to the top of a nation wide pool that includes living donors. She has about 1% of finding the right match. I could wait until she found a match or I could give in advance. I decided to give in advance. My information went out on the National list and within a few hours my nurse was calling that a match had been made and a date was set. My team at Mayo was amazing and with each conversation they would always ask if I had any questions and I always ask. Is there any information you can give me about my recipient 😊 Someday if the recipient wants to know about me we will hopefully meet. Until then the paired chain is in effect and someday it will be exciting to hear how many people received kidneys in this chain to reach my first named recipient (whom I also hope to meet). So, that's my story of donation. Yesterday and today have been great days and I'm healing well.

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