Woman gives kidney to her grandfather


October 28, 1998|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WHEN LOUIS LOUIS Vaughan, age 72, experienced kidney failure about four years ago, his son and daughter looked upon modern medicine, and lined up to be potential donors of a lifesaving kidney.

But the configuration of their kidneys meant neither offspring could donate.

Four years later, with her grandfather's health degrading while he depended upon dialysis, his granddaughter Diana Vaughan turned 18 -- the earliest age one can be a donor -- and tested ready and able to give. On Sept. 25, she gave a kidney to her grandfather.

"I would say, if you have any worries or doubts, then don't do this, because you are giving up a part of your body that you can't get back. It's kind of scary. I wasn't worried until days after the surgery. Then I'd have nightmares, dreams, about dying," Diana said.

Diana hasn't begun a career. She's in her sophomore year at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, hoping to work with children. Her grandfather is known for his activities with his wife, Delores, in church, Masonic lodge and volunteer work in Catonsville.

When Diana's surgeon raised an issue of ethics for one so young to give a kidney to an elderly person, Diana knew the answer.

"It's the best gift you can give somebody. When someone is living a life being determined by a machine, one day they feel great and rake the yard. The next day they're sick, have headaches. There's no quality to their life at all. To give that gift to somebody, you can't measure it with anything," she said.

Today Diana has few physical marks from surgery. She has a 1- to 2-inch cut near her navel where the kidney was removed, and two 2-centimeter slits where the camera and tools were inserted for the operation. In the future, she's been advised to maintain proper weight for her height. And forget taking judo and karate.

"It just looks like I had an accident. My doctor says I'll have to prove I have only one kidney if I'm ever hospitalized in a foreign country," said Diana.

Diana knows that her parents, Christina and Stephen Vaughan of Hampstead, are proud of her.

"If my kidney works as it should, it will guarantee my grandfather an extra 15 years of life," Diana said.

"For me, it was definitely worth it."

War Memorial rededication

Formal rededication ceremonies Sunday will unveil the names of 104 veterans who have been added to the Manchester War Memorial at 3208 York St., Manchester Municipal Building.

Starting at 3 p.m., a 24-unit parade of veterans, floats, Maryland National Guard, civic, Scout and 4-H groups, elected officials, members of the local posts of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Alesia Band and the North Carroll High School band will march to the memorial.

Sixth District Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett will present a U.S. flag to Manchester Town Manager Phil Arbaugh to begin the formal program, in which veterans will speak and deceased veterans will be honored.

Chairs will be provided in a VIP section for veterans or their designees on the memorial. It's suggested that the public bring lawn or folding chairs for the 90-minute program.

York Street will be closed to traffic west of Victory Street starting at 2 p.m.

No parking will be permitted on Church Street after morning church services, and Church Street will accommodate two-way traffic during the ceremony.

The War Memorial committee, which has sought veterans to include on the memorial during the past year or more, is composed of John Barnes, Edwin Burgoon, Lt. Col. Charles Ivan Mills and Charlotte Collett, assisted by the Historical Center Committee and the Community, Communications and Creativity Committee.

Veterans who wish to be included in future additions to the memorial may contact student volunteer Jamie Ridgely at the Town Office.

The renovation of the memorial was made possible by contributions from Hampstead American Legion Post 200, La Societe Des 40 Hommes, Et 8 Chevaux 155, Georgia Rhoten, Charles and Betty Miller, Manchester Auto Parts, John Corkran, Quentin and Patricia Peregoy, William Farrell, Charles and Ruthetta Redding, Audrey Hossler, Richard Isaac and Charlotte Collett.

Contributions are welcome to support the monument and upgrade the flagpole.

Information: 410-239-3200.

Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 10/28/98

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