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Nursing student donates kidney to childhood pastor!

Posted on January 2020 By Jamie Southwell

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Alli Shappell, 21, Nursing Student.

Determined to do something for her former pastor, this heroic nursing student decided to contribute to a chain of kidney donations in order to find someone with the correct compatibility.

It all began when Alli Shappell, a 21 year old nursing student, found out her childhood pastor had fallen victim to kidney failure and was going to require a transplant. Without hesitation, Alli selflessly stepped up to donate but found herself stuck for options when her compatibility results came back saying she wasn’t a match. Already having her heart set on helping and refusing to give up, she looked into an idea that doctors at The University of Kansans Health System had suggested, altruistic donating in order to find others to come forward so they could donate on her behalf, causing a chain of donations.

Alli Shappell, surrounded by family & friends

This route involved Alli donating a kidney to someone she hasn’t met but in turn, that recipient’s family would then donate one of their kidneys to someone else in need until they finally found someone who matched with her pastor. After a total of three people donating and meeting each other, they were able to find someone with the right compatibility which meant it was time. The surgeries took place on November 12th and lasted over three days, Alli herself spent a total of two nights in the hospital recuperating yet was ecstatic and eager to get out to see her pastor.

Alli Shappell, right, her childhood pastor pictured on the left

Upon recovery, she expressed her feelings on the whole experience and the morning of surgery by saying ‘I woke up feeling nervous but when arriving at the hospital, I was confident and happy with my decision’. Alli has always been a strong advocate for Kidney donations, going back to high school when she had the opportunity to play a character known as Shelby in her school show, the character receives a kidney donation but later dies due to Type 1 diabetes. 'In school, I always thought you could live on dialysis for the rest of your life but after researching it... I found out just how important donating for someone in need is'.

When her pastor finally began to recover and was discharged from the hospital, those around him noticed a positive change in ‘his energy and happiness’, stating that he seemed to be a ‘completely different person now’.