Patient Spotlights

Back to Patient Spotlights

Kidney donation ‘just felt right’ for living donor

Patient Spotlight April 09, 2018 By Main Line Health

Before Kathy Peterson donated a kidney to her uncle, Ken Osisek, in October 2016, she did a lot of soul searching. She talked it over with her family, especially her daughter, exploring all the possibilities and weighing all sides of the decision. Ultimately, she says, “It was very simple. My uncle had a need and I was able to help, and the rest of it just felt right. I felt it was a gift to me that I was able to do this for him. It’s a weird feeling that’s hard to explain, but it all just fell into place, and I just knew.”

Even though Kathy had made her decision and was emotionally prepared to donate her kidney, she had to undergo extensive evaluation for living kidney donation to ensure she was physically ready. She did this through the Kidney Transplant Program at Lankenau Medical Center. “It was daunting at first,” she says, “especially when they took all of the blood samples the first day—but I got through it.”

Life after kidney donation

Ever since she donated a kidney, Kathy has become more outspoken about the opportunity of living kidney donation. She encourages people who have been approached with the possibility of donating a kidney to consider it. “Talk about it, do it, go to Lankenau!” she says. “There’s nothing to be afraid of, and it’s such a wonderful gift and thing to do, and it’s so necessary.”

As for Kathy’s own health and well-being, she has no concerns. She’s confident, knowing she went into surgery in great shape and the surgery was done well at Lankenau. “I’m following up and doing what I need to do.”

Her uncle calls regularly to check in on her but Kathy doesn’t need or expect any extra attention—although she does appreciate the unique bond they now have. “It was weird in the beginning thinking a part of me was functioning in his body and keeping him alive, but most days I don’t even think about it really.”

Your kidney transplant journey starts with an evaluation to determine if you are eligible for a transplant. Call 484.476.8485 to schedule an appointment with our Lankenau-based team.