By writer to hartfordhealthcare.org
June 23, 2021
Strolling out of a diner in 2019, Lindsay Vigue noticed an indication that modified her life – and two different lives as effectively.
The signal featured the story of a person needing a life-saving kidney transplant and searching for a donor.
“I instructed my spouse, ‘I believe that’s one thing I would wish to do,’” Vigue mentioned, referring to changing into a dwelling donor. Since most wholesome individuals can operate with one kidney, dwelling donors supply the second to these in want.
After driving what she referred to as a “pendulum” of feelings swinging from favoring the concept to nerves about surgical procedure, Vigue returned to the diner, took down the Hartford Hospital Transplant Program quantity off the signal and referred to as. 4 months of testing later, she was deemed an appropriate match for the person.
Vigue, a photographer whose busy season is summer season, wished to donate in December however the man was not but cleared for transplant. As an alternative, the Nationwide Kidney Basis matched her kidney to an 18-year-old in New York Metropolis and gave the native man a voucher to maneuver to the highest of the ready listing when he was prepared. In 2020, he additionally acquired a brand new kidney.
Suzanne Morello, coordinator of the Hartford HealthCare Transplant Program, mentioned dwelling donors are important in serving to the many individuals ready for kidneys. The variety of donations from deceased donors, she famous, won’t ever meet the demand.
Vigue and her spouse, Jessica Paine, a nurse with New England Donor Providers, have had numerous conversations about their optimistic expertise and hope to dispel the misunderstanding that folks within the LGBTQ+ group couldn’t be thought of donors.
“I’ve had individuals inform me ‘I can’t donate as a result of I’m a homosexual man,’” Paine mentioned. “There have been – and nonetheless are some – restrictions for homosexual males and blood donations, however there aren’t any restrictions with organ donations. They’re ruled by completely different rules.”
The couple wished to share their expertise in Satisfaction Month to handle such misinformation and probably enhance transplant charges on this underserved inhabitants.
“I perceive how essential it’s for individuals to donate. We want dwelling donors,” Paine mentioned.
Vigue mentioned she encourages individuals to analyze the potential for donation. There is no such thing as a strain within the course of, Morello added.
“They wish to be sure you’ll have the ability to stay your life wholesome with one kidney,” Vigue mentioned, including that she has the added insurance coverage of realizing if one thing occurs to her remaining kidney, she routinely goes to the highest of the transplant ready listing.
The connection for Vigue, Morello mentioned, was sparked by the Living Donor Champions Program that helps sufferers and their households share their story and wish for a kidney transplant by posters, social media and different avenues.
“It was a fantastically optimistic expertise and I’d encourage anybody to see if it’s for them,” Vigue mentioned. The one modifications she’s made is eliminating non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication like Motrin and staying hydrated to maintain her remaining kidney wholesome. “I’ve a totally new perspective about donation.”