INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – One year ago, Jill Dietz was searching for a kidney. She says it’s a journey she had been on for five years.
Her husband Andy, a captain at the Fishers Police Department, decided to enter the advanced donation program at Indiana University Health and give his kidney away to save a complete stranger.
The move put Jill on a special list giving her a better chance to find someone with a match, but he admits the waiting game was tough.
Little did they know her match was just months away and they say because of the program doctors didn’t have to wait as long to operate.
“She really did so smoothly, it’s incredible,” her surgeon, Dr. William Goggins said.
Her successful operation gave him a gift as well and on a special occasion.
“One of the interesting things about Jill’s case is that I transplanted her on my birthday so it was a very nice birthday present that she did so well,” he said.
On Jill’s first doctor’s appointment after surgery, she couldn’t help but look back on the journey she’s been on with her husband from the beginning.
“We’ve been together since I was 14 and he was 15 and we’ve been married for 33 years,” she said.
“When you say those vows in sickness or in health he truly meant it.”
After watching her battle health issues in the past, he’s just happy to see her do this.
Andy now plans to retire from the Fishers Police Department.
The happy couple says that means they’ve got some traveling to do.
“We just want to see the Gand Canyon and all of the national things we can see we can take our time now,” Jill said.
“We plan on being together for many, many more years healthy years coming down the road,” Andy said.
They encourage anyone who’s able and willing to give someone else the same gift.
“You give someone the gift of life,” she said.
Andy and Jill took advantage of the “Advanced Donation” part of the Living Donor’s Program. However, there are multiple ways for someone to donate for people in different situations.
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