Perfect match: Father gives daughter ‘gift of life’ with kidney donation

Posted at 9:44 PM, Jun 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-12 21:44:04-04

NORTH CANTON, Ohio – Before becoming a mother of three, Amanda Egli had been living with a genetic blood disorder, which causes the kidneys to shut down.

Her mother, aunt and uncle all passed away from the hereditary disease.

"I decided to have my kids back to back because each pregnancy got harder and harder," said Egli.

The 34-year-old was told earlier this year that she would need to go on dialysis and would eventually need a kidney transplant to survive.

"It was stressful to say the least, and just waiting and knowing you have to wait and there's nothing you can do about it," she said.

Doctors said siblings are usually the best living donor candidates.

Egli has three, but it was her father who immediately stepped in to offer his.

"I had always hoped that day might never come, but when it did, I was like of course I will," said Jim Whalen.

Testing revealed he was a perfect match.

"They told me multiple times that it was so unusual, so rare for a father to match perfectly," said Egli.

On April 30, the father and daughter underwent surgery in side-by-side operating rooms.

"I didn't want anything to happen to him, you know, because of me, so that was my biggest fear," said Egli.

Thankfully, the transplant was a success, and the ultimate display of a father's love.

"I like to think that any parent who was medically able, would willingly donate if it meant helping their child," said Whalen.