P.D.G. Lyle Ryan's Kidney Donation Story

Lyle, past District 5050 Governor spoke to our club at our December 6 meeting about his selfless donation of a kidney to a fellow Rotarian.
Kidney Donor - PDG Lyle Ryan
Lyle was a member if our club when it was known as the North Snohomish County Rotary Club.  At that time, Arlington, Stanwood, and Marysville residents were members.  As Arlington grew it became its own club.  Lyle became a Rotarian, in other than name only, in this club.  Lyle has a lot of fond memories about our club.  He and P.J. are both members of the Rotary Club of South Everett/Mukilteo.
Lyle thanked his wife, P.J.  Lyle and P.J. climbed Mount Baker, learned to scuba dive together, and she followed him around through District 5050 as they visited all 58 clubs.  She approved of him donating a kidney.
Rotary can do things internationally that governments can’t do.   Lyle learned a lot about Canadian government while District Governor.   Also, through the process Lyle met a lot of people.
Michael Walsh was a District Governor the same year Lyle was the Governor of District 5050.  He is from New Brunswick.  Michael and Lyle became good friends as District Governors.  Lyle observed Michael not looking well over the years.  They found out he had kidney disease that was getting worse.
Past District Governor Scott Dudley, before he became governor, visited many clubs.  At one of those clubs he met a woman whose husband needed a kidney.  Scott, who has had family members with failing kidneys, agreed to give him a kidney.   He never met the man before the day of surgery.  The man is doing very well and so is Scott.  That action by Scott stuck with Lyle. 
Lyle went to the Rotary International Convention in Sydney, Australia in 2014.  Lyle met Michael again.  Michael had severe kidney failure at this time and had trouble walking.  Lyle told Michael he would give him a kidney. In that year Michael and Lyle started on the journey of donating a kidney. 
Lyle knew nothing about the procedure or what it would take.  Lyle is O negative and a universal donor.  Michael and Lyle went through a lot of tests in 2014 and 2015.  The tests showed Lyle was an excellent match for Michael.  Lyle knew at that point this was meant to be. 
The tests continued at a St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver to bypass the international issue of getting blood across the border.  Lyle and P.J. made some great friends in the surgeons and doctors. 
The transplant was to take place in Nova Scotia.  The doctor in Nova Scotia decided Lyle wasn’t an adequate donor.   The decision was appealed and rejected.  Lyle and Michael were depressed because Michael began getting worse and worse.
Lyle and Michael tried to get St. Paul’s to do the transplant.   They received a conditional approval but then they were rejected.  The person told him they were rejected for “ethical reasons”.  It was because of socialized medicine in BC and BC didn’t want to use their dollars to pay from someone from Nova Scotia.
The doctor from St. Paul’s then called and told them they were now approved because Michael knew a Rotarian who happened to be the Minister of Health in all of Canada. That Rotarian put in a call to make it happen. The surgeon at St. Paul's called Lyle while on a ski trip at Whistler to give him the good news.   
Michael flew in to BC about a month before the surgery. April 30, 2018 was the surgery date.  Lyle was in surgery 3 hours, Michael 6 hours.  The surgery involved some recovery time. It's much less invasive than it was in earlier years, thanks to arthroscopic surgery..  
Lyle and Michael went to Michael’s Rotary Club in August 2018 for a party.  Before the surgery Michael was taking 71 pills and spending 10 hours on dialysis.  He is down to 3 pills and no dialysis.  Michael is doing much better now.
There is an urgent need for donors.  In Washington there are 1,525 people waiting for a kidney.  
Why Not Share?
They cut off for kidney donations is 70 years old.  
Visit kidneyregistry.org.