By Randy Sherrick
One day in May 2006 I over heard a fellow Postal Employee say that she was in need of a Kidney transplant. I further over heard her say that she was type O-positive blood and would require a donor with that blood type. After I heard her say she needed a kidney I poked my head into the front office and said that if I was able to I would give her a kidney.
Deb Pastor was always a good, hard working employee for the five years that I had been her Supervisor. We had not always seen eye to eye on every issue. I was in management-she was a union representative, I have been a life long republican-she a life long democrat, not exactly the perfect profile for a two people coming together to share a Kidney. But Deb was in need of a Kidney and I had one more than I needed. Because of our working relationship we both decided to keep the donation a secret until after the actual donation. This secret was further complicated after we had both put in for time off for some medical leave to start on March 25th, 2007 for this kidney swap and then had to each cancel until April 25th, 2007. Deb had gotten weaker from the anti-rejection medication and needed to be healthy for the transplant.
After almost one year of testing Deb and I were up at Buffalo General Hospital and Dr. Griswold would remove my left kidney and Dr. Latavi would place that kidney into Deb’s hip area. I remember thinking “I hope Deb pulls through OK” and then next thing I recall was being wheeled down the hallway towards my room with a button in my right hand. The next few days go like this:
Deb was Ok and my kidney was working fine
I was in pain for 24 hours then it got better
I pressed that button every five minutes and it made me feel better
I went home on Saturday (3 days later)
I took the pain pills on Saturday and flushed them on Sunday (I do not like drugs of any kind)
I was allowed twelve weeks to heal and returned to my job in nine weeks (retirement will not be a good time for me.) I was swimming at the Jamestown YMCA after two weeks (the strirri strips came off on their own I swear.) I soon quit my job of 23 years with the Post Office and began a new career as a financial advisor (this story does have a happy ending.)
Deb and I have recently celebrated our 2nd Donation anniversary on April 25th of 2009. She is in good health and I am now working at a job I love. I am actively involved with the WNY Kidney walk that occurs for the second time on May 31st, 2009. My wife has forgiven me for putting her through the whole kidney donation ordeal and I look forward to the day when there is a Kidney donor’s list that outnumbers those who are on the transplant waiting list.
It is my firm belief that God gave us two kidneys to see if we could break away from our selfishness and prove the devil wrong.