Living Donation: It's a Family Affair
For a little more than four years, and in complete kidney failure, 65-year-old Isauro Zamora endured the grueling process of kidney dialysis. The most common form of treatment for those in kidney failure, dialysis, is defined as “the clinical purification of blood, as a substitute for the normal function of the kidney.” The treatments took a toll on his body, but even more so, his spirit. Inwardly, Isauro had decided to discontinue the treatments and let nature take its course, but he had not shared this with any of his family.
His daughter, Sonia Zamora-Bosquez, only 32 years old at the time, still cries when she talks about the day he told her of his decision. She was not ready to lose her father and convinced him to keep going while she privately began researching other possibilities. A social worker said he had three choices: home dialysis; being listed for a kidney transplant knowing the wait could be long; or having someone in the family tested to see if they were a match. Sonia began testing to see if she could donate to her father, still without his knowledge.
A few weeks later, Sonia was notified that she was indeed a perfect match. Although her father fought against her decision fiercely, the two checked into the hospital on July 17, 2006, and the transplant took place the following day. They both recovered quickly and new life sprang into Mr. Zamora. He smiled and laughed again. He will celebrate 10 years with his new kidney this year. A retired jeweler, he is grateful to his daughter for the new life she gave him. He has been able to see his nine children, 34 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren grow up. And he recently drove himself to Laredo, Texas, to visit his 98-year-old mother.
The surgery for Sonia was performed laparoscopically, and she was out of the hospital in one day and returned to work after two weeks. Her father was released after one week and was out and about after three weeks. Sonia says her scars are a small price to pay for her father’s life.