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A Thankful Yet Sad DayPosted Monday, May 21, 2012, at 3:09 PM
May 21 each year I feel thankful and blessed, yet sad, for all the day means to me.
Twenty years ago today I received a kidney transplant at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. That is the thankful and blessed part of this day.
The sad part is a 34-year-old man had died on the night of May 20. All I know is that he was obviously a person who wanted to help others live better in the event that he should die. That says a lot for him. I worry many days about his family.
One who receives a transplant may write to the family of the donor and that letter is passed on to them. It is up to the family as to whether they wish to reply. I've never heard from the family.
On that morning 20 years ago I was at work at the Times-Gazette and received a call that Vanderbilt had a kidney available for transplant, the donor had my blood type and I should get there as soon as possible.
After taking a blood sample from me and much testing, I was informed late in the afternoon the kidney was a match and to get my clothes off and ready for surgery.
Dr. Robert Richie, a really fine transplant surgeon who has Bedford County connections, did the transplant and Dr. Harold Helderman has given me excellent care since that night.
I'd like the thoughts of readers on something.
There is a very good chance I could find the name of my donor and also locate his family.
However, since they have preferred to remain anonymous, should I respect their wishes?
Admittedly, I'd like to know so if there is anything I can do to help my donor's family I'd gladly do my very best to help them in any possible way.
I feel extremely blessed and also very sad as I write this blog.
Hopefully I've lived the type life that has been pleasing to him.
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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette.