Couple Decides to Become Living Donors for Very Different Reasons
UPDATE: Since this story posted, the transplant surgery was a success on January 26, and Guy Allton and his brother are recovering well.
Choosing to become a living donor is an important and lifesaving decision that takes research, reflection and planning. However, for Guy and Laura Allton the decision was very clear.
What made you decide to become a living donor?
Laura: A coworker of mine was battling cancer and I had a dream that I donated my kidney to her. Even though she didn’t need a kidney transplant it made me consider becoming a living donor. I talked with my family and did my research and decided that it was something I felt I needed to do. I contacted the National Kidney Registry and they set me up for testing, which took about four months. I passed every test with flying colors and was added to the donor list in June 2014.
A few weeks later, I received “the call” that my perfect match was found and surgery was scheduled. My surgeon, Dr. Rajab, came into my room the day after surgery to tell me he got a call from New Jersey. The kidney, which was transplanted into a middle-aged man, was working perfectly. Recovery went very smoothly for both of us and I received a certified letter from my recipient, right before Thanksgiving that year, thanking me for what I did for him and his family. There were a lot of happy tears.
Guy: After hearing that my brother was going to need a kidney and hearing about my wife’s experience with her donation, I decided that I needed to help my brother however I could. I got tested and unfortunately didn’t qualify due to health reasons. But I decided I was going to work hard and get re-evaluated, without telling my brother. As I progressed through several tests, I eventually let my brother know what I was up to. Shortly before Christmas 2023, we got the news that our surgery would take place on January 26, 2024.
Do you/will you do anything to celebrate the transplant date?
Laura: My recipient and I text on our birthdays and our transplant anniversary. He’s a world traveler now. He is from India and his son’s wedding in India was postponed until after the transplant surgery so his dad could attend. When he doesn’t respond right away to my texts, I get worried, but then I find out he was in China or India! It makes me happy to know that he has his life back and his family has him back.
Guy: I’m planning on a tattoo, but we’ll definitely go out to dinner, too.
What would you say to someone who isn’t a registered donor?
Laura: Why not?
Guy: Why not?
Final note: Guy’s surgery is scheduled for January 26, 2024. Laura’s surgeon, Dr. Rajab, requested to perform Guy’s surgery, too, so as to “keep it in the family.”