Seven years ago, Sandrine donated one of her kidneys to her friend Florence, who suffered from an autoimmune disease. She recounts this gesture of pure generosity, symbol of a deep friendship and a strength of character that commands respect.
Sandrine, 48, has a strong character. “I am frank and direct, I am not easy! “, she launches in a burst of laughter. And when she has decided something, Sandrine does not go back. Like this day in 2014 when she announced to her friend Florence, who lives opposite her home, near Albi, that she was going to donate a kidney to her. A somewhat crazy gesture. Indeed, Florence, 10 years her senior, suffers from an autoimmune disease that attacks her kidneys. The second is dropping her and if we don’t do anything, she risks being on dialysis for the rest of her life. “It was very heavy, explains Sandrine, psychologically, dialysis was impossible for her. Florence and I have totally opposite personalities, but that doesn’t stop us from loving each other deeply. Sandrine makes this important decision against the advice of her husband, her children and her mother, who are opposed to it. “I don’t blame them,” she explains. But it was my decision, my body, I did as I wanted. »
The decision of a lifetime
Where does this strength come from in Sandrine? “I had a very difficult childhood. My father beat my mother. It was very violent. They ruined my life until I was 10 years old. After that, I always swore to myself that no one would bother me and tell me what to do. The operation takes place at the CHU Rangueil in Toulouse, eight months later. The day before, Sandrine does a hypnosis session to relax. Except that once in the operating room, the medical team has a doubt: ““You are too relaxed, you laugh, we cannot operate on you.” They thought I had taken pills! When she wakes up, Sandrine’s husband is there; Éric, that of Florence, too: they are in tears, the emotion is intense. “You don’t realize what you’ve done,” Eric told her. “It’s a gift I made for their couple,” explains Sandrine. The transplant is a success. “During all her check-ups, remembers Sandrine, Florence kept telling me: ‘Your kidney is fine.’ I replied that it was no longer my kidney! This feeling of being indebted bothered me. So I decided to give this kidney a name: little Alibert. It’s my maiden name. And as in my family we have quite a character, I said to myself “this little Alibert will hold up”! »
Seven years of better life
Today, Florence’s illness is taking over and is beginning to attack little Alibert. “My mother said to me, ‘See, you did it for nothing. I told him no. I didn’t save Florence’s life, I gave her seven years of quality of life. Organ donation needs to be de-dramatized. And tears come to my eyes when I tell you this. If I testify, it is to say that out of love, we can do great things. When you have a very difficult life, seven years is huge. Me, I have a little stomach ache once a month and I have a pill to take every morning. So you see, it’s not a big deal. »