A Letter To My New Kidney

PORTLAND PATCH | Colin Miner

After years on dialysis, a new kidney makes a Patch editor feel as though he's been released from prison. Then the kidney surprises him.


Dear New Kidney,

We’ve been together since you were implanted four weeks ago. I am writing to let you to know that I appreciate beyond words how willingly you have become part of me. You have given me back the life that my failed kidneys almost took away. I’ll get to that. I want you to know what so many people are still going through as they wait for a kidney like you.

You have been flawless. I have to confess, though, that while you’ve been great physically, your arrival has been far more emotionally difficult than I’d anticipated. When I was in need of a kidney, I thought little about what that meant beyond, well, I needed a kidney.

Once I got you, though, a much bigger reality set in. I suddenly recognized that I was being allowed to live only because somebody else was not, that saving my life required someone else’s death. Before the transplant, I had never once pictured a donor’s family grieving over the loss of their loved one.

I’ve struggled with that. These feelings, I know, are telling me that I owe something to somebody, big time. But what do I owe? And to whom, exactly, do I owe it? Continue reading

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