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Author Topic: Mourning the Loss of Your Kidney Recipient  (Read 483 times)

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Offline Monica__

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Mourning the Loss of Your Kidney Recipient
« on: September 13, 2020, 06:48:02 PM »
Hi all,

I donated my kidney to a very good friend of mine in 2009. At the time, i was 23 and she was 26. She had Lupus Nephiritis and I had seen her endure several hospital stays because of her disease for several years before the donation.

Her body had been starting to reject the kidney in 2013 because she accidentally got pregnant. Not only did she lose her baby then but her immune system shifted and rejection started earlier than anticipated. She and I hadn't stayed well in touch after that as I felt a little disappointed that she wasn't more careful about her health. She unexpectedly died earlier this year in April at the age of 37. she wasn't already admitted to the hospital for anything-- she was at home with her husband and all of sudden couldn't breathe and passed away in the ambulance.

I'm still struggling with this loss. Most people that I've talked to about kidney donation typically donates to an older family member, say a parent, or someone else who is perhaps 50+ years old. But has anyone else here donated to a friend, who was young, and who died young? 

And just wondering if anyone else has any insight into working through this mourning process. It's been 5 months now, but it still weighs heavily on me. I suppose I'm just looking for others who had a similar experience just to not feel so alone with all of it.

Offline Fr Pat

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Re: Mourning the Loss of Your Kidney Recipient
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2020, 02:13:40 AM »
     I myself did not have such an experience, but it must be very difficult. And people who have not "been there" will find it hard to understand your feelings. In the card racks in the stores you cannot a find a card for "sympathy for the loss of your organ transplant recipient". It is a very new thing in all of human history. You might perhaps want to post this also at the FaceBook page of Living Donors on Line, and also the page of "Living Kidney Donors Support Group". Many more donors post there rather than here these days, and you are more likely there to hear from other donors who have suffered the loss of their recipients.

Offline PastorJeff

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Re: Mourning the Loss of Your Kidney Recipient
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2020, 07:46:28 AM »
Monica, I just saw this. I too suffered the loss of my recipient last year.  He died after an excruciating progress of cancer.  Even though he was a stranger at one time, he became a very good friend and brother in Christ.  I became familiar with his family.  I can identify with some of your feelings.  It's hard to always know where they are coming from.  I certainly mourned for a man taken from his family and the loss they felt.  But when I visited just before his death I saw people who lived with hope in the midst of cancer's ugliness.  I suppose I also mourned for my donation which is kind of a selfish thing on my part.  i trust this will subside for you in time, but at least for me you never quite get over it all. And maybe that's a good thing.  I think the hurts in our lives help us to be more compassionate towards those who suffer.  At least that how it should be. 

Offline tjhurley

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Re: Mourning the Loss of Your Kidney Recipient
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2020, 09:01:46 PM »
Hi Monica,

My recipient (my son)  is much younger than me and was diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year.

The feelings are really confusing for all of us as my son fully believes the immunosuppressives played a role in his getting cancer.  My donation also occurred in 2009.

The kidney has performed really well for him, so there is that. Take care

Offline Fr Pat

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Re: Mourning the Loss of Your Kidney Recipient
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2020, 03:28:59 AM »
That's very hard for you all. The ant-rejection drugs do increase the risk of cancers. The drugs trick the body into not rejecting the "foreign" kidney, but that also makes it harder for the body to identify and attack infections and cancer cells.

Offline tjhurley

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Re: Mourning the Loss of Your Kidney Recipient
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2020, 09:39:24 PM »
Yes, thanks, we are just trying to deal with it the best we can.

 

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