A few days ago I received an email from a dearest friend named Luciano Guido. Every year he remembers the anniversary of his Dad’s kidney transplant done 33 years ago. A procedure that allows his father to live longer thanks to the science and skills of the specialists performing it. He was the first patient to receive a kidney transplant from another living patient (his daughter Yusi Guido) at the New Orleans South Baptist Hospital.
Antonio Guido had the chance to live longer thanks to the kidney donation coming from his own daughter. He felt as a new man because this procedure changed his life.
Thanks to the bravery of his family that had all its members tested to find the right match Antonio could live longer, and had a much better quality of life.
I kept this email flagged because felt compelled to write about it. Luciano has a great family that will do anything for each other. Family values and support is essential when one of its members is ill, and I am sure this gesture coming from his own family made Antonio stronger and more attached to life than ever. Science can be amazing, but none of this would be possible without voluntaries capable of go through anything to save a loved one.
33 years ago this procedure was something innovative and hard to perform. I am sure not many specialists dreamed with making it possible. Today this is another story. Although the survival rate of patients after kidney transplantation still not very encouraging, the procedure can provide people with more years of life.
Organ recipients are humans with feelings of hope. They are counting on someone for help. Donors can come from everywhere at any time. Nobody knows when an organ will stop functioning and our names be part of the waiting list. People sign to be donors after their death if they still have viable organs; others sign to become donors during their life (as the case of kidney donors). Organ recipients are expectant patients seeking for a miracle into their lives. Waiting for a truly brave organ donor.
I am aware Antonio Guido’s family were all tested, because all of them was capable of giving him a kidney. However they were not all the right match for him, just his daughter.
For those organ recipient life can be short and sudden, and the expectancy of seeing another beautiful day might be felt as great, because they have no sense of future plans until a viable organ comes along and gives them the chance to see that beautiful day. Those are people who do not take life for granted; they learn to appreciate small things and life as a gift. They can sit and observe how others walk, go out, run, exercise, without the simplest notion they are alive and healthy. Those recipients are souls coming to this physical dimension to experience the value of life.
To those who had decided to become donors may the Light be with you. You are part of a small group of humans who truly care for others. After having close relatives who are in the group of people at risk of becoming recipients (as one of my brothers has just one working kidney), I am sure my kidney or any other organ will be available for him whenever he needs it. I will do anything for him to extend his life if the time comes, and I know Yusi did the same thinking about her father’s quality of life.
She was a truly heroe, and my respect to her bravery and courage.
Thanks to everyone who supports organ donation, and thanks to all the brave and courage ones out there.
Dedicated to the memory of Antonio Guido who still very much missed and loved by his family.