Nashville nurse gifts kidney to father

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Nashville nurse saved the life of her father with a kidney donation.

Leslie Dunfee is a nurse with Ascension Saint Thomas. She told News 2 about the call that began their organ donation journey.

“My dad is in the hospital and he is in renal failure, and I think we were all kind of shocked. It was the first we knew he had any problems. It turns out he had probably been suffering with some of these situations for a few years, and hadn’t been to the physician or experienced any trouble,” explained Dunfee.

She and her dad were hopeful his kidneys would heal after months of dialysis treatments. But the situation did not improve and it became time to think about a transplant.

“Going through the process to get ready, because they said I was young enough and healthy enough for it, even though I didn’t feel that way. It was definitely life changing. My life abruptly changed overnight. That was the crazy part of it,” said father, Dave Caseltine.

“That’s the first battle is to get your loved one on the transplant list and the second battle after that is once you are received into their program and you are their patient, you look for possible donors. One of the things the transplant centers help the patient do is how to ask your family to get tested or how to ask your family how to consider donation,” said Dunfee.

Dunfee turned out to be a match and they underwent the surgery that gave her father a new outlook on life.

“I was overwhelmed. You have all these thoughts about how things have transpired and such. Luckily, I had a good team taking care of me I didn’t want for anything and worked out really well,” said Caseltine.

Caseltine said he’s now healthy and will monitored for the rest of his life.

The family wants to encourage others who might have questions or reservations about the donation process to seek answers. Click here to learn more.

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