Living organ donors celebrate the 30th anniversary of the gift of life on this National Living Donor Day

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health + wellbeing

HCA Florida Blake Hospital honors caregiver Melody Williams this National Living Donor Day. On November 18, 1992, Melody gave her sister Debbie the gift of life by donating one of her kidneys. Years ago, Melody’s sister Debbie ended up in the hospital with very high blood pressure after the death of her father. After extensive diagnostic work, it was determined that Debbie’s kidneys were failing. Debbie was on peritoneal dialysis and was told she would eventually need a kidney transplant. She was on peritoneal dialysis for 18 months. Debbie’s siblings, a brother and three sisters, tested to see if they were compatible. Melody tested to see if she was a match when she was in the hospital following the birth of her youngest child and was the perfect match. The local transplant program immediately contacted Melody with the test results. “I didn’t think twice about it,” says Melody. “Was it scary, yes, but it was the most important decision I made in my life to save my sister’s life.”

Six months after the birth of their youngest child, Melody and her sister Debbie were both hospitalized and the transplant was a success. This year marks the official 30th anniversary of the transplant. Melody shares that both she and her sister Debbie are doing great and Blake Hospital is proud to honor Melody for her selfless, life-saving decision and to share her story to raise awareness of living donation. “Being able to save someone’s life and improve their quality of life is the best thing about living donation,” says Melody. “To me it’s even more special when the life of the person you’re saving is your family member because you can see first hand how their quality of life has improved. My sister is still here with us to share all of the special family moments that life brings.”

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