My Donation Story: Lorri Silk
Well one night during the quiet moments of adoration Jesus put it upon my heart that there was someone who was in need of my kidney.
I went to the National Donor Registry and filled out there form. I was sent some test to complete at a local lab. In the meantime I went to a web site called living donors online. I posted my blood type and within ten minutes a young woman from Florida contacted me. She was the oldest of six children and she told me her father had been waiting eight years for a kidney. He spent 12 hours a day on dialysis. They flew me to Miami for the first battery of tests to see if I was healthy enough to donate and if I was a tissue match for him. Indeed I was ! It amazed me given that we were different races. He moved to US from Palestine at age 13. He is from a large close Islamic family. The next trip to Miami was to meet with a psychiatrist to see if I was making a mentally sound decision to donate. During this trip I stayed at my recipients home. I met his wife whom grew up in Florida and his two youngest children. After this I had to do a 24 hour urine test to check for protein in my urine. Little did I know strenuous exercise can cause protein in my urine. At this point I panicked. After going this far in the donation process I would have felt horrible if I could not give my kidney. I stopped working out and took another tests and passed.
It was such a feeling of elation when i got the call to schedule my surgery ! Plans had to be made so my husband could come to Miami with me for the surgery. I asked a friend to stay with my children and my work found coverage me for the next three weeks. I had to be there a week prior for final tissue match tests. We stayed at my recipients home. Extended family came over to meet me.Some of his family spoke Arabic and I didn’t understand with my ears but my heart felt every word of gratitude.The gratitude needed to go to Jesus who put it in my heart to donate, so I feel a bit uncomfortable when people praise me for donating. I was just a person with an extra organ I didn’t need.
The morning of surgery we were prepped in side by side rooms, separated by a curtain. As I was about to be wheeled away I squeezed his hand and told him we were family now since we shared an organ. I had so much love and happiness in my heart. he had told me that at anytime I could back out and he would always be grateful that I had tried. I told him this was something that was giving me great joy to be able to do for him. As I was wheeled down the hall I felt a wave of comfort and love sweep over me. I knew in that moment I was fulfilling something the Lord had asked of me. He has given me so much, I felt honored to be able to give back to one of his children in this way.
I awoke from surgery and had my husband read my Liturgy of Hour Prayers I had slept through. I was hospitalized for a week after surgery. Getting up to walk the first day was difficult. Every day of walking it became easier. Pain was difficult to control for me because of my tolerance to pain meds I take for migraines.
Ten days after surgery I was back at my recipients home where I would stay till my follow up appointment. Ten days post-op I was hiking by Lake Okeechobee.
My recipient had a more difficult road ahead. He was still in the hospital when I flew home. I had a sinking feeling worrying his body would reject my kidney and it would have been all for nothing.
I got a call a week after I had been home and back at work that he was home as well ! No more dialysis 🙂 It such a gratifying experience. Similar to the high I felt from giving birth. I recommend anyone healthy enough to donate does.