Good Samaritan donates his kidney to a stranger
Apr 6, 2023, 5:15 PM | Updated: 6:29 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — More than 100,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant in the United States. Utah’s waitlist for all organs is up to 900, with nearly 600 of them waiting for a kidney.
Dr. Donald Morris, a nephrologist at Intermountain Health, said the wait to receive an organ is two to six years, depending on their blood type.
“Because we have a very generous community, a lot of people step up to be living donors,” he said. “Our wait times are currently the shortest in the country.”
Morris said a live kidney donation is better than a dead kidney.
“On average, those kidneys are going to last twice as long,” he said.
But, he said any kidney is life saving for those needing one.
“On average, it will double someone’s life expectancy after transplant, improve their quality of life, and decrease the overall price of their healthcare,” Morris said. “It really accomplishes what we want to do in medicine.”
Rob Chambers, 68, decided to donate his kidney because his friend’s daughter was on dialysis. He said he wanted to help, and started getting tested, but while that was happening, they had already found her a match.
“But I just kind of felt — I started on the path, let’s finish. I am sure somebody out there needs some help,” Chambers said.
So, he donated anyway and saved a stranger’s life.
“I think it’s something that everyone should do if you can, if you are willing. Everyone needs a second chance at life,” Chambers said.
He had the surgery in February of 2022, and said that three hours after the surgery, he walked a mile around the hospital.
“There was absolutely no pain in donating.”
Chambers said now a year after donating, he feels healthy and would never know that he is missing a kidney.
“There are probably millions of people that on their drivers license say they are organ donors. Well, why wait until you die? You can do it now,” he said.
Intermountain Health is a part of the National Kidney Registry, working as a paired exchange program, helping people get the most precise match possible from other donors across the country.
For more information on becoming a donor, visit here.