Mo. Woman, 25, Secretly Donates Kidney to Her Father, 60, Who Told Her Not To: 'I Was in Shock'
A young woman from Missouri has secretly donated a kidney to her father after spending nine months keeping her plan under wraps.
Two years ago, John Ivanowski was diagnosed with a form of kidney disease known as IgA nephropathy, Good Morning America reported.
The chronic illness "can lead to end-stage renal disease," at which point the kidneys no longer function, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Despite the prognosis, John repeatedly told his daughter Delayne Ivanowski, of Kirkwood, Mo., that he did not want her to donate a kidney to him, GMA reported.
But the 25-year-old nurse pushed forward with her secret plan, which came to fruition on Feb. 16.
"I was like, 'I'm going to do it. I don't care how mad he is at me,' " Delayne told ABC News. "At least he'll be living a good life and not hooked up to a machine," she added.
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Recently, tests revealed that John was in kidney failure, according to a GoFundMe campaign started by his daughter.
Delayne said doctors told her father that he did not have much time to live. She knew John needed a transplant, and wanted to help him any way she could.
So, despite her father's opposition, Delayne moved forward with her secret plan to donate a kidney to her father. According to GMA, She kept her plans secret for nine months as she went through the testing and necessary processes ahead of becoming a donor.
John was on dialysis at the time, and would receive treatment three times a week for at least three hours at a time, the GoFundMe page says.
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But the Missouri dad was worried about the possible physical repercussions his daughter could face after donating one of her kidneys — especially after losing his only other child to cancer more than 15 years ago, per GMA's report.
"I thought, I lost my boy and if anything happened to Delayne, I don't know what I would do," he explained. "It was a big concern."
However, Delayne was adamant about helping her father. "I'm not good at being told no," she said, according to GMA.
Eventually, Delayne said she learned that she had been approved as a donor for her father. The surgery was originally scheduled for Oct. 30, 2022, but was postponed after John fell out of a tree while hanging a deer stand and was injured.
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The transplant surgery was rescheduled for Feb. 16 — and this time, it went according to plan.
Workers at Washington University & Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center did everything they could to keep Delayne's secret as she and her father underwent surgeries, according to GMA.
The next day, Delayne surprised her father with the big news by walking into his recovery room while still in her gown and attached to an IV.
John can be heard reacting to the discovery in a TikTok video of the moment, which has been viewed more than 4.4 million times.
"I knew right away," John told ABC News. "I was upset. I was just in shock."
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But John has since changed his tune, according to the report. "I wouldn't change a thing," he said. "I feel so much better."
Delayne is now raising money via GoFundMe to help pay for their medical bills. Nearly $10,000 has been donated through the online fundraiser.
The Missouri woman thanked those who have donated so far, adding that "insurance doesn't cover" the costs of both of their surgeries.
"As their daughter, I know how much they have sacrificed for me in my 25 years of living," she wrote, "and it is in my heart to want to do everything in my power to help them through this stressful time."