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Posted 10 months ago
"Proud to Give My Mom My Kidney"
Dr. Leeser reports that living donor kidney transplantation is a very safe procedure for donors, but has the usual risks of any surgery, which can include infections, excessive bleeding and in rare cases, anesthesia reactions. Although Mindy was worried about these dangers, “when Kelly turned out to be a match, I thought, ‘it’s meant to be.’ ”
On February 15, 2013, the two women checked into the University of Maryland Medical Center for the procedure, which takes about three hours. “It was such a perfect day—right after Valentine’s Day—and I was so excited and proud to give my mom my kidney,” recalls Kelly. Mindy, however, worried about the potential risks.
After the three-hour surgery, performed through a incision near the belly button, Mindy could tell almost immediately that the new kidney was working. “Everything came into focus and for the first time in three years, I felt normal. It was only then that I realized how sick I’d been.”
Kelly woke up in a bed next to her mom. “My belly was really swollen and I was so groggy that when I tried to walk, I felt like a pregnant 90-year-old. But by the second day, they let me go home. When I got to our apartment, I saw all the boxes of my mom’s dialysis fluid piled up in our hall and burst into tears of joy that she wouldn’t be needing them any more.”
Today, nearly three months after the surgery, mom and daughter have both recovered completely. They both have scars near their belly buttons, and Kelly considers hers a badge of honor. “It’s more precious than a tattoo and symbolizes the rebirth of my mom.”
Two months after the transplant, Mindy was back on the road again, selling her jewelry during a flower show at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, with her daughter by her side. Once bedridden and unable to even walk around a mall, she can now run on a treadmill and feels completely normal.
Kelly, who took a year off from college to help take care of her mom, plans to study culinary arts. She’s secretly learned to make her mom’s favorite cookies—macaroons—and has whipped up a batch for Mother’s Day. She has several other surprises planned, but none can top her amazing gift of life—and love.