Entertainment And News

Daughter Surprises Dad After Donating Her Kidney To Him Without Him Knowing

Photo: Facebook
John and Delayne share a heartwarming moment post-op

A Missouri father, John Ivanowski, experienced kidney failure and found an unlikely donor. In a GoFundMe post, his daughter describes him as “stubborn.” Despite getting the tests proving his kidney failure, he initially didn’t believe the doctors. 

Eventually, his condition worsened, and he needed a transplant, or he’d have to survive on a dialysis machine for the rest of his life.

His daughter surprised him after secretly donating her kidney to him.

John’s daughter Delayne is a registered nurse who probably didn’t expect to be on the other side of the examination table. But when her father was in need, she stepped up!

Following the diagnosis, his doctor told him he was unsure if he had two days or two months to live. John got better after he started dialysis treatment. He relied on the machine for over a year to keep him going.

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He was plugged in for up to five hours daily, multiple times a week. But he needed a transplant or would have to live on the machine for the rest of his life. 

Delayne wanted to donate her kidney to her father, but he did not support the decision.

“I’m like, ‘You’re too young, you’ve got a long time to be here and my time’s limited,’” John told KMOV. On top of that, his reservations came from losing his son almost 16 years ago to cancer, according to ABC News.

“I thought, I lost my boy and if anything happened to Delayne, I don’t know what I would do,” he said. “It was a big concern.” However, she did not take “no” for an answer.

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Delayne went behind his back and got tests done to see if she was a match, and fortunately, she was.

“I was like, ‘I’m going to do it. I don’t care how mad he is at me. I don’t care if he kicks me out of the house or hates me or doesn’t say a word to me for the rest of my life,’” she said. “At least he’ll be living a good life and not hooked up to a machine.”

The surgery was originally scheduled for October 2022, but they had to reschedule it due to John sustaining an unrelated injury from falling from a high place. February 2023 was the new date for John to get a healthy kidney. 

The doctors told him he was getting the transplant from an anonymous donor. Even when he went under the scalpel, he had no idea his daughter was behind it. After a successful surgery, he realized what had happened when he was sitting up in his hospital room and his daughter entered.

She came into his room in a hospital gown and when he put two and two together, he began to cry. 

“Oh my God, are you kidding me,” he said as tears began to come out. “I knew you were up to something.”

Delayne recorded the heartwarming moment to spread awareness for her fundraiser covering the transplant. The dialysis treatment had racked up a bill, and she didn’t want her family to have any more financial pressure.

“They’ve already gone through so much. Dialysis isn’t cheap,” she said. “I thought, why not reach out to social media, and I got a way bigger response than I ever was expecting to.’”

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After the video went viral, people raised almost $20,000.

Following Delayne posted the video, people took to GoFundMe to help pay for the transplant. As of April 2023, they’ve raised over $19,000, nearing their current $20,000 goal. 

After John overcame his frustration toward his daughter for going against his wishes, he was grateful. “I can’t stop crying,” John said. “I mean I was upset but I’m so grateful.”

Dr. Jason Wellen, a kidney and pancreas transplant surgical director, told ABC News that John has nothing to worry about. Delayne is not more at risk than she was before donating her kidney.

“We spend a tremendous amount of energy and resources and effort to work on every person that comes forward as a living donor,” he said. “To the point that we feel extremely comfortable knowing that if we approve for their donation, that they’ll have no higher risk for the rest of their life of renal failure or any other medical issues.”

Now, John can continue to live his life like normal again without spending hours a week hooked up to a machine, all thanks to his loving daughter.

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Ethan Cotler is a writer living in Boston. He writes on entertainment and news.