On January 18, 2012, I waited at the Nebraska Medical Center all day to find out if a potential matching cadaver kidney would come to Omaha, if it would be medically cleared, and if it would be a close enough match for me to receive.
(Due to previous transplants and transfusions, my body had built up antibodies that gave me essentially 0% chance of having a kidney match, but still a chance - similar to lottery odds)
The kidneys did come to Omaha as I was the longest waiting person on the list of the matching locations (I had been on the list 17 years). The kidney, though not perfect, was medically cleared. The three potential recipients who had been invited to the med center were narrowed to two, one for each kidney.
That night, I underwent the transplant surgery and on January 19, 2012 - four years ago yesterday - I received that "gift of life", which is still working great today.
I'll always be thankful to the family of the donor who made the decision to allow his body parts to be transplanted, and I hope I can pay that forward in some way.
Jeff with the girls, Penny & Nala
RIP Simon, my friend