When describing life before his transplant, Peter says,”You can’t move, you can’t go anywhere further than a day’s travel because you have to be back the next day for dialysis. You’re not working, you’re not doing anything, the income is lousy and your just basically surviving.”
For his sister Pamela Rabbu, there was no question, she needed to donate a kidney to her brother, but it wasn’t an easy road for her either. In order to become a qualified donor she needed to get herself healthy too. She lost weight and quit smoking, two hurdles that are challenging enough on their own, but for her the motivation was overwhelming.
Pamela described the moment she decided to see if she was a suitable donor. “He was getting so sick and the doctors said that they were amazed that he was even out there walking around.”
As a result Peter gets to answer the question what would you do with a second chance at life, he admits he’s not sure he can even wrap his head around the idea yet.
Peter and Pamela’s story is a heartwarming one, but there are still 170 candidates still waiting for a kidney transplant at Baystate Medical Center alone. According to transplant surgeon Dr. Alexander Kurbanov, a living donor can be a family member, friend or coworker, but even complete strangers can see if they’re a match. If you are interested in being a donor and want more information you can call Baystate Medical Center’s Transplant Service.