RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Organ donation offers continue to come in after William “Woody” Johnson’s urgent plea, for a kidney.
Around 40 calls have come into VCU’s Hume-Lee Transplant Center from people who are willing to get tested to see if they are a potential donor.
Carol Pride says she can recall her son’s exact words when he received the devastating diagnosis that he has a kidney disease linked to high blood pressure.
"His exact words to me that day was that he had been given a death sentence, and then he just shut down and he just cried most of the day,” Pride said.
Dr. Layla Kamal, transplant Nephrologist at Hume-Lee Transplant Center, says living organ donations are important by helping to save a life.
“They would change a life. It’s an heroic act and during the whole process we make sure that they are safe and they’re well informed,” Kamal said.
According to the experts at VCU, the process for testing takes four or five hours and is painless. Doctors gather your medical history and blood work to rule out any infections and administer a CT Scan.
Even if you are not a match, your organ donation could save someone else’s life. Doctors say living organ donations out perform deceased donor organs, and they can schedule the surgery when the recipient is at his or her best health.
“We have less complications in general. Half of the time when you get a kidney from somebody who died, the kidney doesn’t work right away. This can lead to other complications. And the other thing that can happen also, they can have high risk for rejection that we don’t see with live donors. On average a kidney from a live donor can last twice as much as a kidney that comes from someone who has died which is huge, which is great. It’s more viable. It has a better quality," Kamal said.
Johnson remains hopeful and says, “I’d be really grateful, but I couldn’t thank anybody enough if I ever got a kidney.”
Of the 40 calls from people wanting to donate a kidney, doctors have spoken with 29 of the 40.
Four are scheduled for testing. One has completed half of the test and is not a match, but is still willing to give a kidney. That means Johnson can get a kidney from someone else, in the event that no match is found among the current offers.