Missouri man gets new lease on life thanks to kidney donation from wife

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A metro woman is staying true to her marriage vows – in sickness and in health – to her husband of more than 40 years.

She plans to donate one of her kidneys to her ailing husband. The transplant will take place at Research Medical Center on Wednesday morning.

When Bonnie Osenton found out her husband would have to wait years for a new kidney, she said she immediately wanted to donate hers so they can continue doing the things they love together.

“You don’t have time for anything else, doing dialysis is just like having a part-time job, because I go three days a week, four hours a day, and then once you get out, all you really want to do is go sit in your chair and sleep,” Mike Osenton said.

Sixty-three-year-old Mike found out his kidneys were failing about two-and-a-half years ago.

“It’s been a struggle for me, because when I met Mike, he was very athletic, very active when our boys were growing up. Mike coached wrestling, he coached little league football, he coached baseball,” Bonnie said tearfully. “For me to see him where he’s not able to do that anymore, really hurts my heart.”

Doctors added Mike’s name to the kidney transplant list, and they waited.

According to the Living Kidney Donors Network, there are more than 93,000 people on that list.

When Bonnie found out they could be waiting for 5-10 years, she said she knew she had to do something.

“That’s when I told him, I said, ‘you’re not going to wait,’ and he said ‘well, I’m going to have to,’ and ‘I said no you’re not,'” Bonnie recalled.

And Bonnie got her way.

After multiple tests, a nurse told Bonnie she is almost a perfect match and can donate one of her kidneys to her husband.

“I said, ‘this is the first time you’ve got me where I was speechless,'” Bonnie added. “Of course I cried, because he means a little bit to me.”

Bonnie said if she can make him well again, they can enjoy their kids and grandkids, camp, fish, and travel — things they haven’t been able to do recently because of his health.

“When we took our wedding vows, it was for better or for worse, in sickness and in health,” Bonnie said. “In my heart, that’s what I’m supposed to do. He’s my soul mate.”

“If she would say no today, that would be fine with me. I’m at peace with that, but she still wants to do it, and I said okay,” Mike added.

Mike said he would do the same for his wife in a heartbeat.

Bonnie and Mike will check in at Research Medical Center around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Doctors said the surgery will take about an hour and a half and recovery time will be about six weeks.