Daughter, 21, saves father's life by donating kidney to him
 
 
 
 
 
 

Daughter, 21, saves father’s life by donating kidney to him

/ 10:07 AM July 14, 2021
 Jazlyn Estrella, 21,  donated a kidney to her father, Ruther. UC DAVIS

Jazlyn Estrella, 21,  donated a kidney to her father, Ruther. UC DAVIS

DAVIS, California – Jazlyn Estrella, 21, gave her father, Ruther, an extraordinary gift last Father’s Day. She donated one of her kidneys to him. The UC Davis Health transplant team made it possible.

At the age of 47, Ruther, who had been Jazlyn’s role model since she was a young girl, fought aggressive kidney disease and was not getting better.

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Jazlyn told UC Davis Health News that her father was always working on something and she always gave him tools for a gift. This time, Jazlyn donated one of her kidneys to him.

Ruther Estrella’s kidney disease worsened in 2019. When his daughter drove up from the Bay Area to visit him in Sacramento, she saw how sick he had become and how complicated dialysis can be.

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“The first thing she did, she hugged me and started crying,” Ruther Estrella recalled. “She sat next to me and said, ‘I don’t like to see you like this, dad.’  But I didn’t expect anything from her.”

For Jazlyn Estrella, seeing her father dependent on a dialysis machine sparked her strong will and determination to help however she could.

“No person’s opinion could change my mind on it,” she said. “I knew he couldn’t be strong with a failing kidney. I felt like I was going to lose my dad.”

Ruther was born in the Philippines. He and his family came to the U.S. when he was seven. He was diagnosed with an autoimmune kidney disease when he was 13.

Doctors told him then that they would keep an eye on his kidneys, because they were not well. Years later, in 1998, when his then-wife was pregnant with Jazlyn Estrella, he went in for routine check-up.

“After a simple blood check, they came out with a wheelchair and rushed me to emergency dialysis,” he remembered.

He would remain on dialysis awaiting a transplant for five years. In 2003, he received a cadaver kidney. The doctors told him it might last for eight years. The disease recently returned,

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“When I saw him, I made the decision that I want to do something for my dad,” said Jazlyn Estrella. “If I can do it, I want to save his life,” Jazlyn told UC Davis Health News.

They were a perfect match. Ruther Estrella’s fiancée, Grace Cantiller, was his full-time caregiver for his home dialysis. Finally, the UC Davis Health transplant team set a date, June 21, 2021. The three of them soldiered one

It’s important that Ruther’s new kidney came from a living donor.

“Compared with dialysis therapy, living donor kidney transplant not only improves the quality of life, but also prolongs life expectancy,” explained Junichiro Sageshima, transplant surgeon and director of the UC Davis Living Donor Transplant Program. “It is truly a gift of life.”

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TAGS: kidney disease, kidney donation, kidney transplant
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