The Butler family of Bellefontaine begins the new year renewed by the strength and optimism of a selfless gift shared between daughter and mother.
PHOTO | MADISON BUTLER VIA FACEBOOK
Unlike so many of the other packages gifted this holiday season, this present could not be unwrapped.
Madison Butler donated a kidney to her mother, Stephanie, during a Sept. 26 procedure at the Cleveland Clinic.
The kidney transplant originally had been planned for Madison’s winter break from Bowling Green State University, but by fall her Mom’s health was seriously failing, and so the transplant had to be pushed up.
“There was never a question in my mind at all that I would do anything I can to help my mom,” Madison said by telephone recently from her Bowling Green apartment. “The only thing I cared about is that she gets well.”
Nine years ago, Stephanie had a double lung transplant, and it was a reaction to those medications that caused her kidney failure, she said.
She was on dialysis and her health had begun to decline rapidly until the transplant.
“I’m so grateful for my family, they are my whole world,” Stephanie said of her daughter’s kidney donation. Madison said that at first her mother was apprehensive about accepting an organ from one of her children, but later relented at her family’s insistence.
“Dad stepped in and told Mom that me and my brother were going to get tested, and if we were a match and decided to go through with it, then that was it,” Madison said.
Recovery from organ donation is harder for the donor than the recipient, and Madison endured some complications and extra pain in her rehab.
“I got to see her just a couple hours after surgery and she was already looking so much better — with more color,” Madison said. “I did not want her to see how much pain I was in.
“But I knew what I was getting into, and I would do it again any day.”
Stephanie is also now a huge advocate of organ donation, especially since the double lung transplant she received years ago. Her first transplant became necessary following diagnosis of LAM, a rare cystic lung disease with symptoms often resembling asthma, emphysema or pulmonary bronchitis.
Madison likewise is very passionate about organ donation and gives talks for Life Line of Ohio, educating people about organ donation.
Read complete story in Wednesday's Examiner.
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