About 6 months ago a user on Reddit named John Kim did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) about how he had been on dialysis for about 5 years and had no donors in sight, answering any questions people had about what it was like waiting for a donor.
Reddit user Charger525 saw that thread and immediately did tons of reading on dialysis and on John’s condition, FSGS (Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis). After thinking about becoming a potential living donor and speaking with his family and supervisor (he’s active duty) he decided to contact John. At first there was a slight problem since the possible donor lived in Northern CA and John lived in Southern CA. This made compatibility testing somewhat of a challenge. After a bit of coordination between the transplant coordinator at UCI Medical Irvine and doctors in Northern CA, they were able to complete the bulk of the testing before he was required to travel down for the physical evaluations.
These photos show the bulk of what Charger525 had to do to become a kidney donor.
It all started with bloodwork. Lots and lots of bloodwork.
Around 50 vials of blood were taken over the course of testing.
Some more blood. Lots and lots of blood work was done to ensure he was a viable potential donor.
More forms to fill and more vials for more blood.
OK this is getting repetitive now, but here’s more blood.
Ultrasound of his organs to make sure he is viable to donate.
The CT (Computed Tomography) scanner.
Getting ready for an Echocardiogram stress test.
Graph shows his at rest state, before his stress test.
The stress test consisted of running, a lot of running.
Having dinner with the recipient and his parents.
Yet more bloodwork, these were for the final HIV and cross match tests.
Surgery Pre-op – The surgeon explaining how he was going to perform the operation laparoscopically, with all the associated risks, and how he would cut him open fully should the need arise.
A lovely note from a young and brave kid.
Just before the surgery, looking cool.
This picture was snapped by one of the nurses just before the operation.
He was on the side for the surgery, you can see the exposed stomach.
This is what he looked like after the surgery, which went perfectly. Kinda looks like he was stabbed by Wolverine!
The cozy and private hospital room he got to rest in after the surgery.
The surgery was performed successfully on Jan 21st of this year. He’s been home for a little over a week now and John, the recipient, is doing incredible. John still has some hurdles to overcome but already his health is improving.
It’s important to note he did this all out of the kindness of his heart. It is a felony to pay for an organ.