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Textbook Surgery and Recovery for Kidney Transplant Recipient | News

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Textbook Surgery and Recovery for Kidney Transplant Recipient

KENMORE, NY- We've been following the story of Ryan and Lisa, best friends brought even closer together through the gift of life. Lisa donated her kidney to Ryan two weeks ago, and Monday night they saw each other for the first time since leaving the hospital.

Ryan Miller, 30, of Kenmore says he feels like a million bucks after his kidney transplant two weeks ago. As does his donor and best friend, Lisa Brennan.

"Having somebody to talk to and check in with. 'How are you feeling?' Or, 'that's exactly how I'm feeling.' You don't feel alone," said Brennan.

"They said it's a textbook surgery and a textbook recovery so far," Miller said.

Brennan said she was inspired to donate her kidney to Miller after she watched a Channel 2 News report about a man named Mitch Stone who received a kidney from a total stranger, Diane Bookhagen. Those two met through the website WNY Kidney Connection.

"I know that this was just my path, that this was what I meant to do because I never really second guessed it," said Brennan.

In a family video, you can see Miller and Brennan saying goodbye to all their loved ones and walking arm in arm in to surgery at ECMC. The day after the surgery, they saw each other for the first time.

"They brought him in and I was just so happy to see him. You can see that I went to reach for his hand before I could really get to it. I just wanted to touch his hand and make sure he was ok," said Brennan

Whether it was sitting up, eating solid foods, or getting out of bed and walking again, Miller and Brennan Lisa were encouraging each other in kiddy-corner rooms as they recuperated.

"Definitely a life changing experience and I couldn't think of anyone else I'd go through it with," said Miller.

And going through it with both of them, was Ryan's wife, Nicole.

"For a while it was like ping-pong. I was going back and forth to each of their rooms making sure that they were both ok," said Nicole.

Nicole said she got her strength, by feeling her unborn son inside her, and knowing because of this transplant he's going to have a father.

"That is probably my saving grace. Everyday thinking about that. Even when it seems like it's really hard and you're not really sure if the next moment is going to be any better, that's what gets me through," said Nicole.

With a new lease on life, Ryan says the future is clear now.

"Christmas. I'm most looking forward to Christmas. I'll be healed by then and the baby will be here. It'll be a great time. Family and friends will be around. And I think that'll be the start of everything new," said Miller.

When it comes to others who are considering being donors, Lisa said, "If you're even considering it, you have to see it through." She said she feels like she got even more out of the transplant than Ryan did.


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