My Kidney Donor Story: Deserra Lewis
Before this experience, I did not know anything about living kidney donation. My father-in-law was in need of a kidney transplant, so 10 or 11 months ago, we all started the process to see if we were matches. No one in the family was a match.
At that point, I just thought, well, I tried. My world was completely changed when I found out that you could still donate through the Voucher Program and actually save more lives. More people need to know about it!
My father-in-law is in Indiana, so initially I was in contact with the transplant coordinators there. They are the ones who introduced me to the Voucher Program. Then I found out I could do my donation surgery here in the D.C. area, so the team at Georgetown are the ones who really gave me the best education about the whole process.
I first met with Dr. Verbesey, but it was Dr. Potter who actually did the procedure. He was so informative and he taught me so much. He took the time to explain what my kidneys were and what they did, draw pictures, tell me why they were taking the left one instead of the right, and so much more. I felt very prepared, including what to expect after surgery. They did a great job of educating me on how I would feel.
The first two weeks after the surgery were very hard. I had to have someone with me all the time and every day was different. At the three-week mark, my energy was starting to come back, but I still couldn’t stand or walk for very long.
As of yesterday, it’s been four weeks and I would say I’m about 90%. Right now, the only thing I am experiencing is that every once in a while, I will have some discomfort in my abdomen or my back.
I didn’t want to wait to share my story. People need to know! There are so many people dying, and we only need one kidney to live. To anyone considering becoming a donor, I would say: Do it! Do it! The pros outweigh the cons tenfold. Yes it’s going to hurt, yes the recovery is slow at times. But you are not only saving your loved one, you’re saving multiple other people’s lives.
It is amazing to me that I had no idea that you could not be a match and still do it. That is the part that if someone was considering being a donor, I would want to just scream from the rooftops.
About the Author
Des is a military wife and mother of two currently stationed in the DC area. Des is a devoted Christian and relies fully on her faith with the hope of being a light for others. Her hobbies include traveling (especially to the beach), all things outdoors, and making memories with her family. Following donation, Des has developed a passion for educating others on the living donation process and this life-saving miracle.