There is a lot that goes into being a live organ donor. While the nurses and transplant team at Northwestern Hospital did a great job of preparing us for the surgery and recovery there was a lot that we were not prepared for. Below is a brief description. Please contact Jason and Kurt to discuss the challenges further.
There were a lot of physical challenges that came up after the surgery. Both Kurt and Jason said that their experience did not include much acute pain around their incisions. However, they both experienced a lot of overall discomfort, nausea, and fatigue. A lot of these physical limitations led to emotional struggles.
A lot of the emotional stresses came from the physical symptoms. However, not all of them were a result of physical issues. After the surgery Kara, Jason's wife, did a lot of research revolving these emotional struggles. She found that 2/3 of donors decide to donate purely off of emotion and once that decision is made they 'refuse' to hear anything other than support of the transplant. This makes for a stark reality once the surgery is complete.
As an insurance agent and financial advisor Jason was in a position to be acutely aware of the issues that would arise from a planning standpoint after the surgery. This made him luckier than most donors who would unfortunately have to find out these lessons the hard way. For instance, even with a perfect surgical outcome the donor will probably not be able to purchase life insurance for at least 12 months and even then may receive a less than desirable rating. The surgery could also be considered a pre-existing condition for health benefits. Not to mention the potential changes that should be considered for retirement planning. Jason has made a commitment to meet with and share this knowledge, without cost, to anyone considering being a live organ donor.