Allison's Story

 Allison Malouf set out to donate a kidney to Neil, but wasn't a match. But that didn't stop her from sharing her spare.

Allison Malouf set out to donate a kidney to Neil, but wasn't a match. But that didn't stop her from sharing her spare.

Name: Allison Malouf                                
City/Town: Fort Lauderdale, Florida               
Current Age: 39                              
Occupation:  1st grade teacher                            
Date of Donation:    November 28, 2017           
Hospital and Location: Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland

 

Did you know your recipient? 
No.

What made you decide to donate? 
Donating was an easy choice for me. I was inspired when my husband donated his kidney eight years ago, I always knew that this was something I wanted to do.

An opportunity came my way when a student's dad needed a kidney. I immediately knew that this was my time and God gave me complete peace about my decision to begin the testing process. Through months of testing, I was approved to donate in a paired kidney exchange.

Meanwhile, another friend/teacher was also getting tested to become a donor for this father. We were both put into the paired kidney exchange and she matched first for this father. I knew that I still wanted to donate and that I would love to donate to a child who needed a kidney. I contacted my coordinator and was put into a paired kidney exchange for a 14-year old boy at Johns Hopkins who desperately needed a kidney. My kidney went to a 60-year-old male living in California. Ultimately, four people received a kidney through my altruistic donation, resulting in the 14-year-old child getting a kidney. 

Was it a tough decision?
No, I knew I wanted to donate and never had second thoughts. I was excited to do it and knew this was Gods plan for me. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

 Allison's husband Jason donated a kidney, inspiring Allison to become a living kidney donor, too.

Allison's husband Jason donated a kidney, inspiring Allison to become a living kidney donor, too.

 Jackson, Calum and Maddox Malouf learned about selfless giving through their parents' kidney donations.

Jackson, Calum and Maddox Malouf learned about selfless giving through their parents' kidney donations.

 

What were your biggest concerns about donating?
I never really had any concerns. I knew that I was healthy enough to donate. God gives us two kidneys but you only need one. It was my desire to share my spare. 

How did your family and friends react when you told them you were going to donate? 
My family was extremely supportive. Since my husband had already been through this process, our three boys had peace about it. This is their “normal.” They saw how their dad recovered and that it didn’t alter his lifestyle. They were excited for me and have mentioned that they would like to donate a kidney when they get older. No pressure!

How did your surgery go?
Surgery was a success! I had an “open surgery.”  Because of the location of my kidney, they couldn’t do it laparoscopically. Surgery took about four hours (as planned).  Everything went smoothly.

What was your recovery like while you were in the hospital? 
I was well taken care of at Johns Hopkins! The doctors and nurses were amazing. I was in the hospital for six days after surgery. I had a hard time with the pain meds and nausea. It was a cycle of the pain meds making me nauseous and then being in pain when they were trying to find a pain med that wouldn’t make me nauseous. 

What was your recovery like at home? 
Recovery time at home was peaceful. I really tried to rest and not do household chores and cooking. Family and friends were amazing! They set up meals for our family, chauffeured my children to and from school and extra curricular activities. 

What was the most difficult part of recovery? 
I had a hard time sleeping at night

When did you return to work? 

I returned to teaching six weeks after donating my kidney. 

How long was the process from making the first contact about donating until your surgery? 
11½ months.

Is there anything about being a kidney donor that's surprised you?
Being able to donate my kidney has been one of the most memorable times of my life—up there with my wedding and the birth of my children. It was such a joy to donate!  It was an amazing experience. “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  Acts 20:35. 

Would you do it again?
ABSOLUTELY, I wish I could!  I would love to meet my recipient(s). I think and pray for them daily.