One donor's story: Samantha Stanek

  • Brainerd, MN
  • Organ
  • Living Donor: 2016

I am a very easy going person and I would do anything for anyone. I also love cooking and baking and I am a huge animal lover.

My dad was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and when I found out that he was on the waiting list for a transplant I immediately knew I wanted to get tested. I had several tests done and some done twice. I was sitting at work on my lunch break when I got the call from HCMC to tell me that I was a perfect match for my dad. I was so happy I started crying and then I called my dad to tell him the great news. Both of my dads kidneys were failing and only functioning at 13%. We scheduled our surgery for January 21st, 2016. Dad kept making sure I wanted to go through with it and I constantly said, Yes, we are both young and healthy so let’s get it done with. We both kept a positive attitude and said we would have a fast recovery. The big day came and we got prepped for surgery, the surgeon asked if I would like to see my dad before we go in and I said yes. I looked at dad and said “I love you and I’ll see you in a couple hours.” By the time they woke me up, my dad was right behind me being stitched up. We both went to our rooms and recovered for the rest of the day. I was very happy, my dad was up and walking around with no pain meds 12 hours after surgery, he was doing a lot better than me. We were both in the hospital for 4-5 days. I am now happy to say that we are one and a half years post op and I have increased his kidney function by 50%. It is very rewarding seeing how much happier my dad is and how much better he feels after receiving his new kidney. Organ donation is very important. It can help improve someone’s quality of life and its also a selfless act. I wouldn’t have done anything differently and if I could I’d do it all over again.

Samantha Stanek