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if you could save a life... a moral dilema

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So an old friend made a post on facebook about needing a kidney.  Desperatly needing a kidney in fact, and as it turns out, I am a match for the blood type she is seeking a donor from. I haven't actually seen her with my own eyes in at least 10 years, but shes a wonderful gal, good mom, and because of facebook, weve been able to keep in touch.   Problem is, I have no idea how in the world I would make room in my life for a kidney harvesting, and I have kids of my own, a wedding to plan,  and my own life to navigate with out screwing it up too badly lol.. 
DF is completely against the idea. He has no idea who she is.  He says, What if my remaining kidney goes bad and I wind up in her shoes? And hes right.   So I am keeping quiet about my blood type to her.  I would if I could... but I can't.  And DF and I decided that I wont

But how do I forgive myself she dies, leaves her children motherless, leaves her family broken, and I could have been the one to save her!  I feel like if she dies, and I could have prevented it by not worrying about my own life for a few months, well that would be a tough pill to swallow.

I was just wondering, what you ladies would do if you were in my shoes?

by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 12:15 PM
Replies (21-30):
by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 2:11 PM

I would. Good begets good.

by Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 3:48 PM

I never thought about all the other factors involved that may prevent me from donating.  I smoke for one, not heavily, but several a day, I'm also a fan of beer, and my 20's were one big party so who knows if I don't have my own damage to worry about creeping up on me in 40 years ya know,  lol so maybe I wouldn't be able to anyway.  IDK I just feel bad about it

by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 4:08 PM
My husband was a week away from the surgery when he got the call that they wouldn't be accepting as a donor. They gave him a lame excuse, but it boiled down to the person receiving not taking care of himself.
There are way more tests you have to go through before you can be a donor. The first is checking blood type, them they mix blood to make sure the donor won't attack your blood, kidney function tests, a nuclear medicine test and others I'm missing I'm sure.
What we learned through the process is that your remaining kidney grows to make up for the missing kidney, and if for any reason it fails, you are bumped to the top of the donor list. Recovery time is about s month, with first couple weeks not being able to do much at all. The incisions actually pretty small - at least smaller than I would've thought. But it is a very serious decision, not one to be taking lightly. I had my doubts during the process with DH, but he really wanted to do it. If you can't do it, don't beat yourself up. Not everyone can.
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by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 4:46 PM

My brother in law donated a kidney to his daughter over a year ago. He went thru about 5 rounds of test to make sure he was a match. So just a matching blood type doesn't mean you will match. They say the surgery is much rougher on the person giving the kidney than the person getting the kidney, which turned out to be true. She was up and about feeling great while he was at home miserable. So don't get to down on yourself you may not be able to do it. Personally I wouldn't do it. WHAT IF my daughter or son needed one. i would have to say sorry i gave it to a old friend from school so I can't help you. family is the best chance and finding a donor, so i will keep mine until my family needs it.

by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 4:48 PM

To save an innocent life is to save all of humanity in my religion therefore I would donate.

by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 5:04 PM

 As with any surgery there are risks to live donor kidney transplants. I would like to think that if I were in this situation I would be altruistic enough to donate but, in reality, I probably wouldn't. I would like to save my kidneys in case my children or someone close to me needs one. There are so many things that we could do differently that might have a positive impact on the people around us, that are a lot less invasive than surgery, but that we don't do. Donating money to disaster relief, volunteering on suicide, domestic violence, or rape hotlines, or helping at homeless shelters. There can also be monetary drawbacks from live donation. Your insurance may not cover it, there are travel expenses, and recovery time. If the woman had a very rare blood type and you were the only match, the bridge between life and death for her, that would be a different story.

by Silver Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Definitely a tough situation, but I'd probably tell her my type and offer to get tested.  If she was my friend and she passed, the guilt would almost certainly eat at me.  Only you can make the decision whether or not to tell her, though.

by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Here is the thing: You will always be the match for SOMEONE. There is always someone who needs blood, needs "extra" organs, need marrow, etc. Giving is a wonderful thing, but you should only do it if you really can. Your DF is not supportive and who is going to watch the kids while you recover? Who is going to pay for your time off work? Who is going to take care of your home while you are recovering? It is NOT like donating blood. Its not an hour of your life, its a good month of your life before you will be back to normal. Can you afford 2-4 weeks off work and do you have someone for your kids for that time?

by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 6:20 PM

I would respect my DH on this one. It is 6-8 weeks of healing time. You spend a week in the hospital and then possibly go to a rehab center. You need lots of family support to do it as well. Do you have that? If you don't then you could have huge troubles health wise with the stress of it all. It is very unhealthy. Would she want that for you? Living organ donation is a very difficult thing but you can not put her medical condition on your shoulders. Any doctor will tell you that you must do is right for you and your family first. I tried to do this and that is what I was told. My friend passed while they were screening me. There was nothing anyone could do about it. I don't blame myself and neither should you.

by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 6:20 PM

 Oh and blood match is not any guarantee that you are an actual match. You could be the wrong tissue type, the wrong size of organ, etc. That is one factor but there are many. So don't sweat it.

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