How far can you go to save a parent’s life who was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy?
Delayne Ivanowski, a young woman from Kirkwood, Missouri, kept her plan to donate a kidney to her father a secret for nine months.
According to Good Morning America, John Ivanowski was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy, a type of kidney illness, two years ago.
Johns Hopkins Medicine stated that IgA nephropathy is a chronic disease that may develop to “end-stage renal disease,” at which time the kidneys are completely useless.
Meanwhile, John constantly advised his daughter that he didn’t want her to give a kidney to him, despite the dire prognosis.
But, Delaney, a 25-year-old nurse, persisted with her secret plan, which became ultimately successful on February 16.
“I was like, ‘I’m going to do it. I don’t care how mad he is at me,’ ” Delayne told ABC News. “At least he’ll be living a good life and not hooked up to a machine,” she added.
John’s daughter created a GoFundMe to help pay for his medical bills after recent testing revealed he has kidney failure.
According to Delayne, her father was given a prognosis of “not much time to live” by his doctors.
Her father required a transplant, and she wished to assist him in any way she could.
Delayne continued with her secret plan to give her father a kidney despite her father’s objections.
She kept her plans a secret for nine months while going through the testing and procedures required to become a donor.
The GoFundMe page said that John would receive dialysis and will continue to do so three times per week for a minimum of three hours per session.
John lost his other child to cancer 16 years ago, so he was understandably concerned about the health of his daughter following her kidney donation.
“I thought, I lost my boy and if anything happened to Delayne, I don’t know what I would do,” he explained. “It was a big concern.”
“I’m not good at being told no,” she said, determined to help her father.
She later learned that she had been approved as her father’s kidney donor.
However, John got injured when he fell while hanging a deer stand on a tree, so the surgery that was scheduled for October 30 last year was moved to February 16, which is perfect for Delayne’s plans.
The staff at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center ensured to keep Delayne’s secret from her father during their surgeries.
Delayne walked into her father’s recovery room the following day still wearing her gown and hooked up to an IV and told him the big news.
More than 4.4 million people have seen the TikTok video capturing the event, in which John can be heard reacting to the revelation.
“I knew right away,” John said. “I was upset. I was just in shock.”
Doctor Jason Wellen, the surgical director of kidney and pancreatic transplants at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center, estimates that John Ivanowski would still be waiting for a transplant several years from now if his daughter, Delayne, had not stepped in to give one of her kidneys.
“There are over 100,000 people in the country right now waiting for a kidney transplant,” Wellen said. “The one way we can get people transplanted within a few months is if they come to us with a living donor.”
John’s worry for his daughter was something Wellen could relate to as the father of three, but he reassured John that there were no additional health risks associated with a living donation.
Every person who comes forward as a living donor is given a great deal of attention and care to the point where they are confident that the living donors will not develop renal failure or any other medical problems in the future if they were permitted to donate, he added.
Delayne is hoping that her family’s story raises awareness of the need for organ donation.
“If anything, I’ve saved one life and hopefully I can, with awareness and other things, save other lives by encouraging people to become donors or to take that next step and go get the testing done to become a match,” said Delayne Ivanowski. “It hurts, but all the pain is worth it in the end, I think.”
Meanwhile, IgA nephropathy often goes undiagnosed for decades because of the lack of early-stage symptoms.
According to Mayo Clinic, it is occasionally suspected when regular testing detects protein and red blood cells in the urine, which can only be seen through a microscope.
Sadly, IgA nephropathy is not preventable. If you have a history of kidney disease in your family, it is crucial to discuss preventative measures with your doctor, such as lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Here is the touching video:
@delayne_i watch my dad find out that I was his anonymous kidney donor after keeping it a secret for 8 months grab a tissue! ##fyp##kidneydonor ♬ original sound – Delayne