Local kidney donor and recipient return to everyday lives after surgery


Dana Clayton had waited more than 20 years for this moment. It was the day her body was free of the disease that had caused her extreme pain, exhaustion and shortness of breath, had yellowed her skin, and was about to force her into dialysis treatments to stay alive.

In early December, just four months after her best friend’s husband donated her one of his kidneys, Dana had her own, diseased kidneys removed. She’s showing no signs of organ rejection and, for the first time in more than 20 years, she is healthy and free of polycystic kidney disease.

“It’s going to change my life and our lives now that I’m going to be able to be healthy and do things again,” Dana said in an interview last week.

Dana’s story and that of her donor, Cowlitz 2 firefighter Brad Yoder, have been told before. But even now that this unlikely story is coming to a close, Dana, Brad, and their spouses are still amazed at how fast the process from matching to donation to recovery took. And while there are tinges of guilt and some struggles with recuperation, the bond between them and their families has never been stronger. Continue reading