By writer to bocabeacon.com
BY MARCY SHORTUSE – Final 12 months we introduced you the story of a South Gulf Cove girl, Jennifer Stanton, who had given the present of life to an nameless individual in want: In an motion of sheer bravery and selflessness she donated one in all her kidneys. She didn’t know on the time if she would ever discover out who the recipient was, however she just lately was pleased to make his acquaintance.
His identify is Mark Rodriguez, and he’s from Clearwater.
From December of 2012 to December of 2019 Mark was in kidney failure and needed to undergo dialysis 3 times every week.
“I received’t go into the gory particulars, however evidently it wasn’t the happiest of instances,” stated Mark. “Sitting in a dialysis chair 3 times every week for 3 hours and 15 minutes, whereas needles are being plunged into my arm, my blood drained, cleaned and put again in my physique is simply one thing that I wouldn’t want on my worst enemy.”
On December 18, 2019 all of that modified when he underwent kidney transplant surgical procedure with one in all Jennifer’s kidneys. The operation was profitable, and Mark has a brand new likelihood at life. He was so excited; he even gave his new kidney a reputation – Katy.
As you’ll be able to think about, although, he at all times questioned about the one who used to personal “Katy.”
“The one factor that I regretted about my transplant was that my donor wished to be anonymous. Or so I assumed,” he stated. “To me, that was a selfless act, a sacrificial act, an act of final kindness and a giving of 1’s self unselfishly. I used to be by no means ever capable of get any info with regard to who this angel of life was.”
On the time of the surgical procedure Jennifer was advised the recipient would stay nameless, however she was allowed to put in writing a notice to see if the individual would reply. In mid-April of this 12 months, they lastly linked.
“It was actually cool assembly him,” Jennifer stated. “We will likely be linked for all times! He’s a really candy and caring individual. It was very thrilling, seeing how effectively he’s doing.”
Mark was over the moon to satisfy Jennifer, and he introduced his son, Josh, together with him. He didn’t inform him the place they have been going, or why, simply that he had a shock for him.
“All of the feelings got here flooding again, all of the seven years of dialysis, all over transplant, the 12 months plus after transplant, all the things got here flooding again in a wave of emotion,” Mark stated. “I spoke with Jennifer over the telephone first, then I used to be capable of meet her face-to-face! To have the ability to see who this angel of life was! To hug her neck, to thank her from the underside of my coronary heart, to thank her for giving me a brand new life, and to thank her husband for supporting her all alongside the best way … there aren’t any phrases that may adequately convey the gratitude that I really feel in my coronary heart and in my soul.”
Jennifer bought concerned within the organ donation course of by a present she noticed on tv that sparked her curiosity, but it surely was years earlier than she might formulate a plan to donate.
“Years in the past, I noticed a present about organ donation, and I assumed it was cool,” she stated. “My husband at the moment was within the Military, so I didn’t get an opportunity to remain round anyplace lengthy sufficient to get entangled with an organ donation program. Then, afterward, my aunt talked about one thing about her pal needing a kidney. We had settled down in a single place and have been in a monetary place to do it.”
At the moment Jennifer was working for Mike Douglass Plumbing in Englewood. Her boss, Doug Curtis, obtained a kidney transplant himself years in the past, and it saved his life. He paid Jennifer’s wage whereas she was at house recuperating after the surgical procedure, which made the method simpler on Jennifer’s household.
A number of weeks after having her surgical procedure, Jennifer was up and about. She stated the surgical procedure lasted about three hours and was carried out laparoscopically by three small incisions and one longer one. The scars, she stated, are very minimal. The surgeon advised her that she had a “very handsome kidney,” and that the recipient was already producing urine simply 24 hours after surgical procedure.
Mark stated there have been many individuals who have been examined to see if they may donate a kidney to him, however there had been no profitable matches amongst them. When he bought the decision about Jennifer’s kidney being a match, he knew that he was meant to remain right here on earth together with his household and pals.
“Everybody deserves a second likelihood at life,” he stated. “One of many essential methods of getting that likelihood is to develop into an organ donor. Please, severely contemplate turning into an organ donor. Life is treasured and all of us have the flexibility to protect it so please be an organ donor and save a life.”
Roughly 114,000 individuals in the US are at present on the ready record for a lifesaving organ transplant. For extra info, go to organdonor.gov.
— to bocabeacon.com