For Mother’s Day this year, Casey Flory gave her mother, Debbie Harker, a piece of herself: her kidney.
Debbie was diagnosed with advanced kidney disease in December and told she would have get daily dialysis treatments to keep her alive – but that the only long-term solution was a kidney transplant.
If she had gotten on the kidney transplant waiting list, Debbie would have been one of 3,000 people added to the queue that month alone.
But before Debbie could even think about getting on the list, Casey took action and got tested see if she was a match and fit to donate a kidney, she told ABC.
On April 3, Casey got the call she’d anxiously awaited and was cleared to donate her kidney, and 20 days later, she and her mother both went into surgery for an unforgettable early mother’s day gift.
Casey Flory (left) donated her kidney to her mother, Debbie Harker (right) in April, saving Debbie’s life just weeks before mother’s day
In December, Debbie, 60, woke up and got up from bed, but her head was swimming and her thoughts were unclear.
Something was clearly off.
She wound up in the hospital where she was quickly diagnose with end-stage renal disease, meaning her kidneys were failing, and were in such bad shape that she needed dialysis to keep her alive.
Some 660,000 Americans are living in kidney failure and 468,000 of them rely on dialysis, which effectively cleans the blood, removing waste and balancing out chemicals to control blood pressure.
Debbie started dialysis the day before Christmas, and had to make a daily trip to the hospital for treatment.
She continued on that way for months, but, meanwhile, Casey was working on a more permanent treatment for her mother.
The average wait time for a kidney from the donor wait list is three to five years, and 20 people die waiting for a transplant (of a kidney or other organ) every day.
On April 23, both mother and daughter went in to surgery. Casey and Debbie are both doing well with one healthy kidney each
Debbie (center) and Casey (right) have always been close. Casey and her husband, Darren (left) live just 20 minutes from Debbie in Eudora, Kansas
Debbie might have been one of them.
‘Her doctor said that being on the donor list could still take three years for her to get a kidney and that she didn’t have three years to make it,’ Casey told ABC.
‘I immediately decided that I would do it.’
Finding out they were a match was emotional for Casey and Debbie alike, plus, their doctor told ABC that family matches ensure better outcomes from the transplant patient, too.
‘When you have a match like that, not only do you have better kidney function, but you have better long-term function,’ Dr Sean Kumer, who removed Casey’s kidney said.
The surgery went smoothly, and both Casey and her mother are doing well.
And as a thank you to her Casey, ‘She
is now officially exempt from Mother’s Day gifts, birthday gifts, Christmas gifts’ said Debbie.
‘She gave me a whole new lease on life.’