Kidney recipient, donor boyfriend on way to recovery

mgaytan@losbanosenterprise.comAugust 2, 2013 

When Brandon Kelley and Lindsey Miller saw each other at the hospital for the first time after Kelley donated a kidney to Miller, they just smiled. “It was awesome. It was great to see her smile,” Kelley said.

Miller was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease at the age of 10 and has been on dialysis. She was in need of a kidney donor and her boyfriend Kelley was a match. The couple’s kidney transplant took place on July 19, at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

After all the pre-op and blood work that the couple had to do the day before surgery, they didn’t get much sleep, but Kelley said it was still a happy moment for him.

“Joy, excitement, nerves,” Kelley said to describe his feelings.

Kelley’s surgery ended up being a rare one since his doctors found a third artery on his kidney once in surgery.

“Had they known that, they would have looked at the other kidney,” he said.

According to Kelley, this is only the fourth time they have ever done surgery with a kidney that had three arteries for a transplant patient. Luckily surgery went well and both are recovering together at home.

“Her kidney function is doing great,” Kelley said.

Since Kelley is recovering a lot faster than Miller, he is able to take care of her along with her family’s help.

“Currently, she does not have to do dialysis,” he said. “Her kidney can fail at any time but if you take the right steps and she takes her medication, she will be OK.”

Kelley said that the doctors are saying the outcome is looking really good.

“It only took a matter of hours for her kidney to start working,” Kelley said. “Doctors are really happy.”

So far the couple has a few restrictions but Kelley said it’s nothing major. Kelley can’t take certain medications like Aleve, while both Miller and Kelley are restricted to not lifting anything heavy. The couple has about six weeks to recover and then life will go on, as long as Miller’s new kidney continues to function well.

“My one kidney will expand by 150 percent,” Kelley said. “You can live a happy healthy life with one kidney.”

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