Sgt. Brandon Vance

Living Donor
Age 27 - Dallas, TX
Date Of Donation: 7/27/11
Hospital: Medical City

One day I was driving late to work. I was listening to the radio as is usually my routine. A woman was being interviewed for a promotional deal at a convenience store. The interviewer asked the woman, Is there anything else we can get for you? The woman answered, Yeah, I could use a new kidney if anybody is out there. My first thought was, this is something I have to do. I immediately pulled over and called the radio station to ask a few questions. I wanted to know about the process and how it might affect my military career. It was at that time, that the radio interviewer, Shannon, told me the name of the woman and gave me her contact information.

 

 I called Miss Gail not long after. I expressed my interest in donating. Miss Gail was hopeful and gave me some information on how to get tested to see if I was a match. When I went to the hospital to be tested, I found out that there were other people that had volunteered but for some reason, it never occurred to me that I would not donate to her. I just had a feeling. When I found out I was a match, I was super excited! We talked on the phone several times, and then finally set up a meeting at a coffee shop. It was just the two of us and she cried tears of joy. My first impression of her was that she was a sweet frail woman that seemed to glow. I was happy to have met her. It helped confirm my decision to donate to her.

 

Everyone tried to talk me out of it, but I knew I had to do this. Initially we were approved for the donation at a particular hospital, only to be turned down some months later. This slowed down the process. The process includes doctors and nurses explaining that I do not have to do this. My mothers first reaction was, Are you crazy? I told her that God tapped me on the shoulder and told me that Ive got to save this womens life. My family and I are close. I was comfortable telling them how I felt. When Miss Gail and I talked, she asked me why I was doing this. I told her that I just had to do this for her because I have taken lives while deployed and now I have a chance to give life.

 

We were finally approved to go ahead with the donation at another hospital in the month of July. This process had begun in August or September 2010. On the day of the surgery, I met her family and members of her church. The best experience is when I saw all of the people I care about and the people that care about Miss Gail gather around her and support both of us. Miss Gail had been through a lot. She deserved a second chance. After the surgery, she said that she felt everything change as soon as the kidney was placed in her body. It is awesome to know that her quality of life will be so much better. My faith in God got this all started, therefore, I believe it has enhanced everything in my life and actually reinforced my faith in Him.
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