Son donates kidney to speed up transplant process for his father

Jun 16, 2022, 6:45 PM | Updated: Jun 20, 2022, 9:28 am

HIGHLAND, Utah — A Utah County man expects to enjoy his best Father’s Day ever. He has his health back after a decade-long battle with kidney disease. One of his sons gave him the ultimate gift this year.

“My life is better now, for sure. So, kind of a new lease on life,” said Doug Bassett.

A decade ago, he found out he had polycystic kidney disease, and would ultimately get sick enough to need a kidney transplant or dialysis. Last year, his kidney function declined enough that he was put on the National Kidney Registry. Family members got tested to see if they were compatible donors.

“None of them turned out to be a match for me,” he said. “That was a little disheartening.”

Right now, more than 600 Utahns are waiting for a kidney transplant. Nationally, there are 106,000 patients waiting for that life-saving transplant.

“For every 10 people that need a donation, there’s one available match,” Bassett said. “So, I was hoping the odds would catch up in my favor, eventually, before I would either die or go on dialysis.”

His son Mitchell was not a compatible donor, but he could still help save his father’s life with the ultimate gift.

The National Kidney Registry has a paired organ exchange program.

“I have been taking care of him for many years as his urologist,” Mitchell said. “So, I always knew that it was a possibility that he was going to need a kidney.”

Mitchell Bassett is a kidney surgeon and knew his dad might need a kidney donor someday.

“I went into it knowing there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be a match and that I wouldn’t be giving my kidney, but I was committed either way,” the son said.

When Mitchell found out he was not a match, he decided to donate a kidney to someone else on the registry. In return, his father would be eligible sooner for a compatible kidney from a stranger.

“Every kidney transplant is a life-saving operation,” said Dr. Aamir Raza, Doug‘s kidney transplant specialist at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.

He described the paired organ exchange as a beautiful thing.

“One of your loved ones or your friend donates a kidney into the exchange program and someone else donates a kidney to you. That kidney that you receive will be a better matched kidney as compared to the kidney you’re getting from your loved one,” Raza said.

Doug feels great and said he has regained much of the strength and energy that he lost over the last decade.

“It’s years of my life that I now can live that I might not have been able to live before,” he said.

Mitchell and Doug Bassett today. Doug Bassett (right) received a life-saving kidney transplant assisted by his son, Michael Bassett (left).

On Thursday, he was packing up and headed into the mountains to spend Father’s Day weekend with his family with an even stronger bond with his son.

“What son wouldn’t do that, especially if you’re the only option?” Mitchell said.

Rasa asks everyone to consider signing up for the transplant registry donation to save a person’s life. The Intermountain Transplant Program is the only program in Utah that has a partnership with the National Kidney Registry.

“Give it to someone you don’t know,” he said. “A lot of people will do that just out of the goodness of their heart. We call them altruistic donors. It’s really a beautiful thing.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Get Gephardt: Husband sued for deceased wife’s unpaid medical bill

Just about a year after his wife died of cancer, Keith Zipprich said he was surprised when he, himself, was slapped with a lawsuit from a debt collector trying to collect on one of her unpaid medical bills.
1 day ago
(Carissa Hutchinson/KSL TV)...
Lauren Steinbrecher and Madison Swenson, KSL TV

Gateway Inn demolition begins; community relieved and excited for new development

The first day has wrapped on demolition of the Gateway Inn, a building neighbors have long begged to come down.
1 day ago
(Kie Hale)...
Andrew Adams

Family says wreath stolen from grave of veteran in South Ogden

Family members said a holiday wreath left at the grave of a longtime public servant and veteran appears to have been stolen, and they were calling on the thief to return it.
1 day ago
Sheree Warren disappeared on Oct. 2, 1985, after leaving an office building in Salt Lake City....
Dave Cawley, KSL Podcasts

New development: Suspect in missing woman case recently failed a polygraph test

A suspect in a nearly 40-year-old Utah cold case has refused an offer of immunity from criminal charges.
1 day ago
A woman who was allegedly driving a pickup truck that ran a red light and killed another driver in ...
Pat Reavy, KSL.com

10 months after a fatal crash in West Valley, prosecutors believe they know who caused it

A woman who was allegedly driving a pickup truck that ran a red light and smashed into another car, killing the driver in West Valley in February, is now facing criminal charges.
1 day ago
Major Kristen 'BEO' Wolfe...
Mike Anderson

Hill AFB Demonstration Team leader very confident in F-35

F-35 pilots at Hill Air Force are moving forward at full speed even though the investigation of a crash at the base last October is still underway.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Son donates kidney to speed up transplant process for his father