How Randy Is Rocking 1 Kidney

At age 82, Randy has been rocking 1 kidney for nearly 30 years after donating "Leftie" to his sister!
At age 82, Randy has been rocking 1 kidney for nearly 30 years after donating “Leftie” to his sister!

It is hard to believe, but come July 25th this year, my sister and I will

celebrate the 30th anniversary of my direct donation of my kidney to

her. “Old school” best describes my good bye to “Leftie”–an incision

from belly button to backbone, removal of the bottom rib–all put back

together with 64 staples, with ouchies when they came out. About

7 p.m. the night before surgery, we started a series of four or five IV bags

of 3 percent alcohol solution. Result: warm, fuzzy, woozy, tipsy–maybe

drunk lite–it’s not nice to do this to a teetotaler, but it flushed out

Leftie the way it was designed to do.


With great thanks to morphine, there was no pain post-op and because

I was in great physical shape from running and pumping iron, recovery

was a yummy piece of cake. Actually there was no unusual discomfort

until two weeks after when I tried to get back into running. That was a

big no! no! no! Incision hurt like h___ and kept saying, ” I told you

not to do this,” so I had to wait ‘til about 4 weeks to get back to some

serious running.


After about 3 months, I was back to my normal 8-10 miles, 10 minutes

per, 3 times a week.  For the past 5 years, by design, I limit my distance

to 3-5 miles on a treadmill. My knees are still good and the hips are

great, but both shoulders are bone on bone, which limits upper body

workouts. I could run further and faster, but at my age, why? Sit-ups are

my new addiction: 1 set of 200 at each workout–yep 200–and working

on 300. For 39 years I have been doing serious workouts and only

rarely am I cognizant that I have only one kidney. I cannot recall any

adverse effects from donating other than numbness around the scar.


Did I mention I just turned 82?


Lest I forget, let me pay tribute to my wife of near 60 years, plus other

spouses, partners, significant others for their part in this incredible

journey down donor road.


– Randy McMillon

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