Hackensack University Medical Center What Better Gift this Father’s Day, Than the Gift of Life

June 14, 2019

49-year-old, Sean Greene received his Father’s Day gift a little early this year – a life-saving kidney donation. Making the success of the surgery even sweeter, the organ was donated by his 20-year- old son, Jordan. “I love my dad so very much and I couldn’t stand to see him suffer,” says Jordan.

Jordan’s dad, Sean, has been living with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a rare disease that attacks the kidney’s filtering units, causing serious scarring which can lead to permanent damage.

In 2003, he received a kidney donation from his sister, but recently, that kidney failed and Sean was told he would have to go on dialysis and eventually need a kidney transplant to survive.

“I remember, as a kid, hearing my parents say that the kidney my dad got from my Aunt, wouldn’t last forever and I knew, I would be the one to help him next,” says Jordan.

Typically, siblings make the best living donor candidates but after getting tested, Jordan and Sean turned out to be a match. The decision, however, to accept Jordan’s generous offer, was far from easy, says his dad.

“I had always hoped this day might never come. As a father, how could I put my son through this,” says Sean.

But with the help of Michael J. Goldstein, M.D., FACS, Director of Organ Transplantation, director of kidney & pancreas transplantation, Division of Organ Transplantation, Hackensack University Medical Center, Sean acquiesced. “It’s common for parents to be reluctant to have their children donate an organ to them.” says Dr. Goldstein. But as he explains, the future benefits to both Jordan and his dad, outweigh the risks.

“The best option for any patient in need of a kidney transplant is a living donor because they don’t have to wait on the organ transplant list and the long term outcome is always better. As for the donor, Jordan knows he saved his father’s life, which is a tremendous emotional life benefit,” says Dr. Goldstein.

So Jordan, who just finished his junior year with the University of Hartford and is home for the summer, underwent surgery in side-by-side operating rooms with his father on June 10th.

“My son stepped up to the plate, without hesitation and I’m so very grateful,” says Sean.

As a result, dad, will be relieved of the many symptoms of his kidney disease including fatigue, weakness, decreased mental sharpness, sleep problems and nausea. “The act of living donation is an act of love that so few people have the opportunity to do, so we not only encourage it, we feel lucky to be a part of it every day,” says Seth C. Narins, MD, PhD, FAC, Surgeon, Hackensack Meridian Health, Department of Organ Transplantation.

Both father and son are recovering at their home with family and looking forward to spending this Sunday, as well as future Father’s Days together, thanks to the ultimate display of a son’s love.