During Greg Randolph’s last official military physical exam, he was diagnosed with degenerative kidney disease after serving 24 years in the Oklahoma National Guard.

Until recently, the condition was manageable through medication.

“It’s one thing to talk about kidney deterioration and dialysis,” Randolph said. “But when you hear ‘transplant’, it kind of punches you in the gut because that is something you’ve been trying to avoid for 14 years.”

Randolph was referred to the Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City. He was quickly placed on the transplant list, but the wait began for a suitable donor.

“I had known Greg for a few years because our wives were friends. His wife, Gerri, had actually helped us through the adoption process of our great-niece,” said Randolph’s friend, Chris Buck. “And being an active National Guard member myself, we had a lot in common and got along really well.”

Admittedly, Buck hadn’t given organ donation much thought.

“I had never even considered being an organ donor before, because I guess it’s one of those things you never even think about until someone you know needs it,” Buck said.

Randolph recalled their first conversation about organ donation.

“We were just sitting in the backyard eating hamburgers and hot dogs when Chris is like ‘I’ll give you my kidney’. I didn’t really know what to say,” Randolph said. “How do you react to such selflessness?”

Randolph and Buck were a perfect match but faced an issue with Buck’s active duty status. Buck needed permission from the surgeon general of the Army.

“I think it was meant to be for sure,” Buck said. “Just the way everything fell into place so easily.”

Randolph agreed.

“I personally attribute this to being a part of a miracle,” Randolph said. “To have somebody who cares enough about somebody else’s life to take out a major part of their own body and freely give it away – there are no words to explain that as a recipient. It’s the perfect example of one Guard member giving to another Guard member.”

E.N. Scott Samara, M.D., a surgical director at the Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute, performed the surgery with his son, Shea Samara, M.D.

“I have been doing kidney transplants for over 30 years. I continue to be so grateful for the friends and family who unselfishly come forward to donate a kidney,” Samara said. “Greg was able to receive Chris’ kidney less than a year after being listed for a transplant, while the typical waiting time for a deceased donor is generally three to five years.”

A living-donor kidney transplant, which accounts for one-third of U.S. kidney transplants, occurs when a kidney from a living donor is given to a recipient whose kidneys are no longer functioning properly. One kidney can replace two failed kidneys, which makes the transplant an alternative to a deceased-donor kidney transplant.

“The beauty about a living donor transplant is that no one has to die for the miracle to occur,” Samara said. “Each day, 12 people die waiting for a kidney transplant. Just imagine how many more lives could be saved if more people would consider being a living donor.”

Transplant News Sharing // “Kidney Transplants” – Google News from Source www.koco.com

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