GREENVILLE, Wis. (WFRV)- In July, 27-year-old Shaina Carlson will become a living organ donor for 60-year-old Duane Dougherty. “I feel like first and foremost his family has been a huge part of my life,” said Shaina Carlson.
Duane used to coach Shaina’s Menasha basketball team when she was in 6th grade. It wasn’t until November of last year when Shaina came across a Facebook page, created by Duane’s daughter to assist in finding him a kidney.
Six years ago, complications from diabetes lead Duane to the operating room for heart surgery. A common side effect, connected to a procedure that helps doctors figure out if arteries are clogged, seriously damaged his kidneys. “They do the cardiac Cath and they put dye in to see how everything else is. That dye shut down my kidneys,” said Duane.
“I was very good friends with his daughter. He coached me and his family has been amazing to me,” said Shaina. The decision to become an organ donor is not an easy one. You have to factor in various things, and go through a battery of testing.
Shaina knew this was something she was supposed to do to save the life of someone she cares about. “I’m donating my kidney to Duane Dougherty because I think he deserves a second chance at life,” said Shaina.
Both Shaina and Duane have the same blood type of O positive which they did not know until recently. “I’m so thankful and there aren’t words to thank a person like this. I knew she was special when I first met her, but I never thought she was this special,” said Duane.
He has been married to Debbie Dougherty for 37 years, and she, unfortunately, was not a match. “I am grateful to Shaina because she’s giving such a huge gift. I don’t know how we can ever repay her,” said Debbie.
Two families, who were close before, have become bonded for life, thanks to the organ donation. “He’s a dad, he has kids. He deserves to be there for his grandkids. He deserves to be at his daughter’s wedding and all those things,” said Shaina.
Surgery for the kidney transplant is scheduled for July 21st. Local 5 will stay updated on their progress. If you or someone you know would like more information on organ donation visit https://www.organdonor.gov/.