Andrea’s Living Donor Kidney Transplant Story: A Father’s Gift to His Daughter

Andrea Profita

I no longer have a kidney, but I have the joy of seeing the results of my action every day. I have four daughters; when the oldest became ill, I knew nothing about transplants. We live far from the big cities; I was born in the countryside, and until I was sixteen, I saw nothing but countryside. My grandfather passed on to me his love for animals and the land. The countryside taught me that those who sow, reap; that if you plant something, you can receive fruits.

Finding Hope in Unexpected Places

She was twenty-four when she fell ill, and the doctor in our town immediately understood the seriousness of the situation. They airlifted us to Palermo, and she was hospitalized. In her room, there was another girl who had experienced the same problems, and she told us about her experience, advising us to see Dr. Buscemi. She wasn't the one overseeing us, but I was determined that that doctor had to help us. The next day, at five in the morning, I sat outside her ward, which was on another floor of the same hospital, and I waited. I didn't move even to go to the bathroom, and around eleven, I entered her room. The doctor immediately reassured me, gave me hope. Thanks to her, I understood how a transplant works and that maybe I could be the donor myself. After a long series of visits, I turned out to be compatible. More than a year had passed, and in the meantime, the doctor had moved to UPMC ISMETT, so once again, she wouldn't be the one following us. I remembered she had given me her phone number; I was hesitant to call because I thought she might not remember. After two rings, she answered, she remembered us: we met, and we started the donation process.

In the meantime, my daughter had already spent over a year on dialysis. She saw her sisters going out and coming back late; one already had a boyfriend, and she couldn't do any of that. She had to live her life, but she couldn't. When I decided to donate the kidney, I only thought of her. I was afraid, I have other daughters, and my job supports the family, but I wanted her to have a life, and this was stronger than anything. The doctor reassured us, saying I could continue working on the farm even though it's quite strenuous because I do everything, from masonry to cultivation.

The first thing my daughter said to me after the surgery was, "How are you?" She worried about me, and that moved me. She was reborn; she started going out, found a sensible boyfriend, and they've been together for a couple of years now; he works with me on the farm.

A Life Transformed: From Sacrifice to Service

Today, I'm part of the civil defense, a voluntary activity that involves many initiatives. We shouldn't think, "I've solved my problem, and I don't care about others." Many people need help, and I like to assist. Last year, my little mare gave birth to a foal; I sold it, and I donated the money to a child who needed surgery.

Donating has changed me because I've seen the result of my action. My daughter resolved her health condition. If you can help to change and improve the lives of others, you must do it.

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