What you need to know before donating a kidney

It’s Christmas season, a time of giving with love and happiness. As the warmth of the festivities fills the city, we thought of those individuals who have taken that spirit to the next level and did the most selfless act of giving.

What would you say is common between American Actress, Francia Raisa and self-made entrepreneur and founder of V-Guard, Kochouseph Chittilappilly? Sometime back the answer might have been - nothing. But now they are part of a small group of individuals who have done the most altruistic of deeds - they donated their kidneys.

Francia Raisa

American Actress

Kochouseph Chittilappilly

Founder, V-Guard Ltd.

While Francia Raisa gave her kidney to best friend and superstar Selena Gomez, Kochouseph Chittilappilly saved a truck driver’s life with his act of kindness. Ms. Gomez suffered kidney problems due to Lupus, an autoimmune disease in which a person’s immune system attacks the healthy cells of the body. Ms. Francia Raisa like a true friend stepped up to donate her kidney, when none of Ms. Gomez’s family members were found to be a match.

Mr.Chittilappilly was inspired by the story of Father Davis Chiramal who had also donated his kidney.

Kidney donation is one of the most beautiful and selfless acts you can ever do in your lifetime. While most other organs can only be harvested post death, the kidney and the liver are among the organs you can donate when you are still alive.

Donating our organs is not part of most people’s life goals. Though many people have signed forms that say they will be an organ donor, very few people actually take the necessary steps to become one. It is only when faced with an ailing relative who is in need of an organ donor that most people understand the enormity and significance of donating their organs.

But if you have put done your name to be a donor in case there is someone who is a match to you, here are the things you should know about donating your kidney -

1.Who can someone donate their kidney to?

Because of the big kidney racket that takes place in India, majority of the time people prefer to donate kidney among family members or relatives, this takes away the need to pay the donor money for the organ. But when a donation happens between people who don’t know each other, it is termed non-directed kidney donation.

2. What should be the condition of the donor?

A donor though not completely healthy should have a healthy kidney, i.e., there should be no evidence of kidney disease and there should not be any medical condition that could lead to kidney disease in the future. Diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure are among the medical conditions that could make someone incapable of being a kidney donor.

3. What happens after the surgery?

Doctors prescribe medication for pain-relief post surgery. But the most important aspect would be to ensure that the donor leads a very healthy life. This will include ensuring the donor doesn’t play contact sport or have a lifestyle that could put undue pressure on the single kidney like smoking, drinking and other lifestyle flaws.
After surgery the single kidney grows larger to compensate for the lost kidney. Most donors tend to live a fulfilling life even after donation through the right lifestyle changes.

4. What is the most important aspect of becoming a donor?

Ensuring that the family of the donor knows about the donation and are supportive of it is very essential part of the organ donation. Because life post surgery would mean the donor will need the full support of their family to live a healthy life.

So if you are thinking of giving the ultimate gift this Christmas season, keep these things in mind before you take the step.

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