One donor's story: Susan Rustin

  • Stillwater
  • Organ
  • Living Donor: 2017

I am the oldest of 3 sisters. I was 65 when I decided to donate and very healthy. I am a nurse. When we found that my sister, Debbie, needed a kidney transplant I didn’t give it a second thought. I volunteered, knowing the risks. I am so very glad I did this. It was a long process to go thru with all the testing, but so worth it in the end. After a recovery period of about 4 weeks I went back to my full time nursing job, where I am still today.

The most important thing to me was donating a kidney to my sister to improve her quality of life. Today she is doing wonderfully. Although we are sisters, this gave us a very special bond with each other. We are about to celebrate our 1 year anniversary since the donation.

I became a donor for my younger sister who suffered from Lupus and was in stage 4 kidney failure. She was being treated at HCMC. I volunteered to be her living donor and met with numerous people at HCMC and learned of the entire process. After about 1-2 years of a lot of testing, it was determined I would be a good match, so we set a surgery date. I can’t explain how very important this was for me to do this for my sister. I also can’t tell you how absolutely wonderful the staff was at HCMC. From Eugenia, RN, to Dr. Ney, whom was my transplant surgeon, to everyone else involved. They took awesome care of me as well as my sister. I urge anyone who is thinking of this to proceed. You are truly giving the “gift of life.” Thank you HCMC for all your wonderful care for Debbie and myself.