Mom Gives Up Kidney for Toddler Son

Jeanne Sager

Jeihel Garcia-TorresPrepare the tissues, Mom. You're going to need them to cover up your grin. Yorelis Torres gave her 4-year-old her kidney last week, officially destroying every other mother's utter satisfaction at finding the best Christmas gift ever for her kid.

That's OK. I hold no grudges against Torres for making that Stinky the Garbage Truck I lovingly wrapped in yards of paper so my kid would do her happy scream seem like a drop in the bucket. Yorelis is my new hero for actually having the guts to do what every mom I know says she'd do in a pinch (meanwhile thanking the gods and goddesses for not having to follow through on the pledge).

It's easy to say "I'd do anything for my child." I've said it. My friends have said it. Commenters here on The Stir say it every day. But saying it and actually doing it are two different things. We should probably amend it to: "I'd do anything in my power for my child."

In Yorelis' case, her power was in her own body. Little Jeihel Garcia-Torres needed a kidney because of a congenital condition. He'd spent four years suffering, and with more than 110,000 people on the United Network for Donor Sharing waiting list, his mom was seemingly the only answer. Go ahead, say it's the only choice to make if you're a mom who loves her kid. But the fact is, donating an organ is no easy thing; especially when you're a mother and you know that it will put you out of commission when your child needs you most. 

In the case of donating a kidney, you're likely to spend four to six days in the hospital after the surgery, followed by six weeks when you aren't able to do any heavy lifting or strenuous activity (think contact sports or running after a toddler). You don't have to be selfish to be turned off by that; you just have to be a mother. We tend to put our health second for our kids, which is impossible to do when you're lying in a hospital bed.

But Yorelis Torres managed to do it all. She's my new inspiration for 2011. How about you?


Image via WPRI

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