Joe Felix with the chain donation group and his two daughters. (Photo/ courtesy Joe Felix)
A Los Angeles man, Joe Felix, was given an extraordinary gift just in time for Father’s Day.
Felix received a kidney transplant from a complete stranger through a kidney donation chain program.
“I had mixed feelings about this transplant, I didn’t want to get let down at the end, as it got closer, I saw this was actually going to happen, my appreciation grew,” says Felix.
Felix had been suffering from kidney failure since he was 22 years old. He received a kidney transplant, from his brother that lasted him 13 years, but two years ago it began to fail him. His doctors told him the wait for a kidney transplant was seven to ten years with dialysis. Deanna Felix, Felix’s ex-wife, decided to donate her kidney to Felix, but was incompatible and unable to donate to him.
“I was in an emotional state, I was devastated, it was hard to hear that you are looking at seven to ten years of dialysis, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do it,” said Felix.
Dr. Jeffery Veale is the director of the Kidney Transplant Exchange Program at UCLA Medical Center and Felix’s transplant surgeon. He runs a chain donation program. The chain begins when a person decides to donate their kidney to a person that they do not know. The kidney is then donated to a person who has an incompatible family member willing to donate their kidney to another person.
"You have the power to SAVE lives."
To register as a donor in California:
www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org | www.doneVIDAcalifornia.org
www.organdonor.gov | www.donatelife.net