The Kidney Foundation of Canada

Kidney Stories

Pauline Hood


I was put on dialysis in May of 2009. That was a shocking experience: I never thought I would end up on dialysis. I thought if I just follow my renal diet, everything would be OK and I could keep functioning normally - but no, I evidently was wrong. In May I had to start dialysis twice weekly and that changed our lifestyle considerably.  

In July 2009, I had the left kidney removed in order to make room for the transplant. That of course led to dialysis three times weekly.  It totally consumed my life. I was only able to work twice a week but now at least I had my weekends back so I was able to spend time with my family.  But I didn't give up. Eventually I knew I would make the transplant list once I was completely healed, so that brought me hope, along with continued prayer.  

One time during a scheduled appointment in Saskatoon, my specialist seemed to know my daughter Crystal and proceeded to tell me she would be my donor. “What?” I replied, “No I can’t take my kidney from my daughter. Please put me on the deceased list.” So we left it at that and I left his office very pleased with myself. 

Pauline and her daughter Crystal


When I got home I called my daughter and said “My specialist seems to know you and is trying to tell me you’re my donor - there must be some mistake.”  “No mom, he’s right, I am your donor - I’m a perfect match.” “No my girl, I can’t accept that” was my reply. So we left it at that, thinking she would respect my decision, but she continued to get tested without my knowledge.  

Being so content and waiting patiently on the donor’s list, Crystal calls me in February 2010 and states “Mom we have two options for “OUR” surgery in Edmonton: February 7 or March 2nd.” Shopping for my granddaughter’s birthday party at the time, I said “you go with whatever works for you.” So she said the 2nd of March and I thought I’ll talk to her when I get home to straighten this all out.

When I got home I phoned and said, “You are so persistent. Are you sure you want to go through with this procedure?” Her reply was, “Of course Mom. I’ll do anything to keep you on this earth,” and that’s how it unfolded.

We were scheduled for surgery on March 2nd in Edmonton. The Miracle of Life happened on that day.  Crystal came out of surgery with flying colors and was discharged two days later. I was discharged the following Monday and was back home on Monday evening, March 8th, 2010.

This all took place because of God’s love for us. He wanted to show how much he loved us, by giving us the wonderful care of doctors, nurses and therapists. The family and friends that came to visit us at the hospital and all the flowers, food, cards and prayers that people gave us when we got home. No words can describe the overwhelming feeling we felt when the whole procedure was complete. It was like a dream. This is truly a Gift of Life with God’s work through my daughter.

I would very much like to acknowledge the SIGA (SK Indian Gaming Authority) for raising all that money for my daughter, who works for them. That is the most amazing and precious gift they could have given her. What an amazing group of people to work with! Crystal is so blessed to be working with such an amazing crew.  

Thank you my daughter, for the Gift of Life. No words can describe the Love I feel for you and the amazing gift you have given of yourself. God bless and keep you safe.