Like most fathers, Jay Moorcones has used the word “angel” to describe his daughter Erin since she was a child. But this Father’s Day, the term of endearment took on a whole new meaning, as he can say without a doubt, his angel saved his life.
That’s because 11 days ago, Erin underwent transplant surgery to give her father one of her kidneys.
“One day, Erin said simply: ‘Dad, I’ll do it, I can give you one of mine,’” Jay said.
Jay was on dialysis for his failing kidneys for more than 18 months, and it was only getting worse.
As an advanced clinical nurse educator with Grady’s Trauma Program, Erin knew the moment her father started dialysis, he would eventually need a living donor transplant.
“He was attached to a machine every night for ten hours. Yes he was alive, but what quality of life did he have? I wanted more for him, I wanted him to be happy, so my sister Kate and I started the process to become donors,” Erin said.
Several tests revealed Erin was a better match. When they approached their father with the idea, he was skeptical of organ donation and worried about the toll it would take on his youngest daughter. But for Erin, being able to do this for the man who worked hard to provide for her, who raised her to be fiercely independent, who showed up for their family the best he could, this was a straightforward decision.
“I think I got one of the best dads growing up. He was a fixer and a doer, so it’s kind of incredible that as an adult, I can now be the fixer, and do this for him.”