Deaf woman donates kidney to childhood best friend
In Pennsylvania, a Deaf woman, Shelley Gunnip (49) decided to donate her kidney to save the life of her childhood best friend, Rose Rau (51), who is also Deaf.
The operation was a few weeks ago. Here is an interview.
So, Shelly, was it an easy or a hard decision for you to proceed with the donation?
It was easy. Easy.
She was really excited about it.
I felt good about it and she felt better.
Yes, I feel much better. There’s a big difference.
Rose, what were your feelings, your reaction when she told you she would donate her kidney to you? How did that make you feel?
Oh, I felt…I was crying so much. I was happy, there were mixed emotions. I was shocked. We hugged each other and cried and cried. So emotional.
You said you were emotional when you met after the surgery? Could you describe that experience?
Yes. Okay. They did my surgery first then two hours later, it was her turn. They took the kidney out of me and put it into her then they sent me to the recovery room where I waited. After she spent time with her family, she had her surgery. I waited for a few hours then finally I moved onto on a wheelchair so I could visit her in the other room…
Really, when I woke up, I was really emotional. I cried a lot because I was worried about her. I wanted to know if she was alright. I wanted to see her and she wanted to see me.
Then they told us to come out. See the video.
[Video clips of the two meeting each other after the surgery, holding hands, clearly emotional]
Are you two now feeling good? Have you been healing well?
A little sore, but we’re good.
A little sore, but I’m feeling great. More energetic and more active than I used to be. I was always sick and exhausted. Now, I’m full of energy.
If you notice this shirt, her family and my family have had tons of support. They all wore this shirt hoping and praying for success. It ended up being successful.
[Group picture of family and friends wearing “Team Rosey” tshirts with green ribbons]
Her face and her skin seem to have changed.
Everyone’s been saying that I look better and healthier now. I used to be pale and my skin was off. I feel better.
You were always tired and dizzy from the dialysis.
She was making trips every other day getting her dialysis and all those injections hurt. Now, look at her.
People can’t tell if I had the transplant. I would tell them I just had one three weeks prior.
They’d be like, “What?!”
I’m driving now.
[Image of the two smiling and holding a cake]
We want to thank everyone including our friends and families for making these shirts, wristbands and everything. For their support and love.
Their love, support and prayers for us has been incredible. We’re thankful to everyone.
Alex: What a touching and inspiring story. Thank you, Shelley and Rose, for sharing.