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Kidney recipient says he received ‘a gift worth millions’

IU Health University Hospital

Kidney recipient says he received ‘a gift worth millions’

After suffering with kidney disease for more than 20 years, this Brownsburg resident received a new lease on life from an unexpected living donor.

By TJ Banes, Senior Journalist, IU Health,

Like many people needing a kidney transplant, Gary Sinclair turned to his family first and then social media.

“Family helps family when they can. The process went beautifully until a complication during the last stage made donating too great a risk,” Sinclair wrote. His story was shared through a first-person account published in the March issue of Brownsburg Magazine.

With no immediate familial options, Sinclair and his wife, Jackie, turned to social media. The couple has been married for 47 years and are the parents to two children. They also have six grandsons.

It was a Facebook post that caught the eye of Annette Brown, also a Brownsburg resident. At one time, Brown’s husband, Pete Brown, and Sinclair were on the worship team together at Ben Davis Christian Church.

Annette Brown had something else in common with Sinclair. She too had experienced the challenges of kidney disease. Her mother received a kidney transplant from a family donor.

Brown was motivated to give back and began testing as a possible match.

Living donors undergo an initial screening, multiple tests and evaluations.

Living kidney donors reduce or eliminate the need for patients to start dialysis and a healthy kidney from a living donor can function better and last longer than a kidney from a deceased donor. A living kidney donor isn’t necessarily related to the recipient. Compatibility is based on blood type and tissue typing. Age and size are also taken into consideration.

Gary Sinclair and kidney donor

It wasn’t long before Sinclair learned that Brown was a near-perfect match. On Dec. 14, 2022, Brown gave her kidney to Sinclair. The two were in the care of IU Health Drs. Chandru Sundaram and William Goggins.

“We are convinced that God did a major miracle in bringing us together at just the right time, in the right place. It was extra special that we both happen to live in the same community,” wrote Sinclair.

“I received a gift worth millions that I plan to take care of and always be grateful for.”

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