Name: Kathy Redmond
City/Town: Lakeland, Florida
Current Age: 67
Occupation: Retired Administrative Assistant
Date of Donation: July 20, 2001
Hospital and Location: Christ Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio
Did you know your recipient?
Yes, she's my husband's half-sister.
What made you decide to donate?
I had watched her struggle with kidney disease for years. She had had two transplants in 21 years and was in need of a third transplant. She had a 4-year-old daughter and was on dialysis.
Was it a tough decision?
It was a very easy decision. I loved her, and wanted her to be able to live a normal life, and be able to raise her daughter, dialysis-free.
What were your biggest concerns about donating?
I was most concerned that it would not work.
How did your family and friends react when you told them you were going to donate?
Some people told me to think hard about my own health; others thought it was a very generous thing to do.
How did your surgery go?
My surgery went as planned.
What was your recovery like while you were in the hospital?
It was hard the first two days; I felt like I'd been run over by a truck. After that it was easier.
What was your recovery like at home?
I stayed at my in-laws' home for a few days in Cincinnati. I flew home a week after discharge and took it easy at home for two weeks.
What was the most difficult part of recovery?
One of the incisions came open, and I had a hard time getting it healed.
When did you return to work?
I returned to work three weeks later. I should have taken an extra week, as I overdid it going back to work.
How long was the process from making the first contact about donating until your surgery?
It was about six months, from initial blood work, then testing, (all done in Florida), then flying to Cincinnati one week before surgery.
Is there anything about being a kidney donor that's surprised you?
Would you do it again?
I would donate again in a heartbeat! I have never regretted my decision! It is one of the best things I've done in my life. I knew from the minute I thought I could be a donor, that it was the right decision, and never questioned my decision.