12-14-06December 14, 2006

A local nurse just received a new kidney from a donor she’d never met before. Dr. Peter Ostrow tells us why this kind of organ transplant could one day become a routine way to save a life.

“I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it.”

Diane Krzyzanowski needed a kidney, and on Wednesday, she got one, from a woman she never knew, who came all the way from Minnesota to give it to her. And just before the surgery, she was still amazed.

Diane said, “Even though I know it’s happening, it’s still hard to take it all in, and it’s still hard to absorb that this woman is doing this for me.”

The donor, Karyn Anderson, was accompanied by her sister, a nurse, who also had donated a kidney.

Kathryn Dopp, R.N., Karyn’s sister, said, “It’s routine, like donating blood. It’s something you can live without and someone else really needs.”

Karyn’s husband also had donated a kidney, to his mother, so Karyn knew that there was nothing to fear.

“She knows that she can be normal. I have had no side effects from having my kidney removed; I don’t feel any different.”

The surgery was at Buffalo General Hospital, and it went very well. One team of of surgeons prepared Karyn’s kidney for removal, and, in another operating room, another team prepared Diane to receive it. By Thursday morning, Diane’s new kidney was working very well.

Diane said, “I’m just so grateful and so thrilled that it’s working, and that Karyn was so wonderful to do this for me.”

Karyn has some pain from her incision, but otherwise, she’s fine.

Karyn said, “It’s just great; I’m just so glad I could make such a difference in someone’s life.”

“It is truly the gift of life. People don’t realize that, but that’s what you’re giving.”

Diane’s new kidney is working so well that she has already begun to feel the foginess of kidney failure lifting. A transplant from a healthy living donor is the best kind to receive, and Karyn’s family has set an example: healthy people can give kidneys.