Kidney Donor Saves Two Lives

Posted at: 10/24/2013 11:06 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- It's as simple as checking a box when you get your driver’s license. We learned Thursday, more and more Minnesotans are doing just that, becoming organ donors. The number of donors is up 13 percent in the past three years. We spoke to a woman who just donated her kidney two days ago, and saved two lives doing so.

"He found out in 2010 when we had a car accident and got carried in a stretcher. He got a cat scan and that's when he found out he's got cysts on his kidneys," said Myla Sudbeck. She says it was almost like fate, the accident pointing out her husband’s illness.

"He has Polytheistic Kidney Disease and he's been battling that disease for a while,” said Myla. Her husband was diagnosed with the same thing his mother died from, and was in need of a kidney transplant. "We weren't a match because my kidney was too small," she said.

Even though she's not a match, Myla is resting at the Gift of Life Transplant House. She had her kidney removed just two days ago. "I was saving two lives, my husband and this young girl," said Myla. They did a “paired donation.” A 21 year-old needed a kidney but her dad wasn't a match, so Myla gave her kidney to that young woman, then that woman's father donated to her husband.

It's people like them that make Minnesota far above the national average for registered donors. "Minnesotans are generous and they're caring so we shouldn't be surprised that 63 percent of us are registered as organ, eye, and tissue donors," said Mona Dohman with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

There are now 2.6 million people registered in the state, and that's a good thing because there are 3,100 Minnesotans currently waiting for a transplant. "It's a good thing to donate, it’s the right thing to do," said Myla.

If you haven't registered but would like to, there are several different ways to do it. You can check the box for your driver’s license, tell a family member, or post it on your Facebook page.