You know you’re really an adult when you find yourself in a position to help your parent, instead of vice versa.
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About a year ago, John Ivanowski of Kirkwood, Missouri received a devastating diagnosis: an Immunoglobulin A deficiency had caused an overactive immune system, which destroyed his kidneys. To stay alive, he had to go to the hospital for dialysis sessions several times a week.
“From there it’s just been dialysis every couple of days since then,” explained his daughter, Delanye Ivanowski. “So, for over a year, he’s been hooked up to a machine for three, four, five hours a day. It’s not the right quality of life I don’t think anyone should have to live in.”
Delanye is a registered nurse, so she understands what’s involved in organ donation better than most. Yet when she brought up donating one of her kidneys, John refused to entertain the idea.
“I’m like, ‘You’re too young, you’ve got a long time to be here and my time’s limited,'” the father recalled.
But Delanye couldn’t sit by and watch her father suffer. She quietly contacted his organ donation coordinator without telling him. Tests revealed that she was a match!
Eight months later, John underwent surgery to receive a new kidney. He had no idea that the kidney came from his daughter!
The jig was up a day after his surgery, when Delanye walked into his hospital room wearing a gown and carting an I.V. behind her. The moment John realized his new kidney came from Delayne was captured on camera, and you can see the wheels turning in John’s head as he struggles to contain his emotions.
Delanye later shared the video on TikTok and asked her followers to each donate a dollar to help with medical costs. The response blew Delanye away! More than 6,000 people sent her donations via Venmo, and still more contributed to a GoFundMe in John’s name.
Ultimately, John is grateful that his daughter sneakily saved his life. He can’t wait to get back to living his life free of the dialysis machine, and says it’s a “big relief” all around. As for his daughter, Delanye has no regrets about donating her kidney. In fact, she hopes her story encourages others to give the gift of life as well.
“If you are going to give a kidney, it is one of the greatest gifts you can ever give in the world,” she said. “It’s literally like donating life.”
Of all the surprises we’ve seen, this one takes the cake! We’re sending our best healing thoughts to this sweet family as they recover from their lifesaving secret gift.
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