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Taking “Sharing Is Caring” To Another Level

, , , , , | Healthy | January 21, 2021

About a decade ago, I decided to donate my kidney as a non-directed donor, meaning I didn’t know the person who would get the kidney; the hospital picked him. Knowing that I volunteered with children and had a real soft spot for them, the hospital recommended a twenty-two-month-old child as the person to receive the kidney.

The surgery went fine and I got to meet the child for the first time a month after the surgery. I thought this would be the only time I would meet the child.

A number of years later, I get a surprise call from the pediatric department of the hospital where I donated. They are doing a reunion party where they get together kidney donors and kidney recipients, and they want to know if I would like to attend. Excited at the chance to meet the child again, I agree to attend.

When they finally arrive at the party, while their mother is busy signing in, the boy and his twin brother wander into the party and apparently recognize me. The one that I actually donated the kidney to is a bit shy at first about meeting me, not so much his brother.

Twin Brother: “Are you the one that gave my brother the kidney?”

Me: “Yes, I was.”

Without saying anything else, he runs up to me and gives me a gigantic hug.

Twin Brother: “Thank you!”

His brother seems a bit unsure how he is supposed to interact with his kidney donor at first, but I have enough experience with kids that I am able to get him to open up soon enough. Eventually, the brothers are excitedly dragging me around to face painting and all the other activities they have for the party.

Boy: “Where did you get the extra kidney from?”

Me: “Everyone is born with two kidneys, but we only really need one, so they took my left kidney out of me and put it in you, and I keep using my right kidney.”

Boy: “How did they get it out?”

Me: “They cut a hole in my belly button and then stuck a machine in through it which they used to cut my kidney out and pull it out through my belly button. Then they did the same thing to you to put the kidney into you.”

Brother: “Did it hurt?”

Me: “They put me asleep when they cut the kidney out, so I didn’t feel anything then. It did hurt a few days after, but it got much better after the third day. It was worth it to help.”

Kid: “Oh.” 

The kid stands there, clearly thinking about that for a few more seconds.

Kid: “Thank you.”

By the end of the party, both twins were asking if I could come visit them again. Since I love kids anyway, I told them I’d be willing to, but I didn’t want to impose, so I told them I could only if their mother wanted to invite me. I heard the kids tell their mother that they wanted me to visit, but I never did get an invite to visit them from her. It’s been many years since then, but I hope, wherever they are, both kids are still as happy and healthy as they were the last time we met.

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for January 2021!

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