MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Florida man has been given the gift of life from his daughter in time for Father’s Day.
Luis Rodriguez and his daughter Stephanie held a news conference Friday afternoon about his life-saving kidney transplant surgery.
In October 2012, Luis was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. The father of three had only 22-percent kidney function and was told he would need a transplant. Luis, 53, was immediately put on dialysis but he didn’t tell his children because he didn’t want them to worry.
His 23-year-old daughter Stephanie Rodriguez accidentally discovered his test results and immediately wanted to help. Without telling her father, Stephanie began all the medical tests required to determine if she would be a match and be able to donate her kidney to her dad.
“I couldn’t see him go through dialysis. My dad is normally a funny, outgoing man. But his medical condition had changed his personality,” said Stephanie. “He gave me life, and I knew that my kidney would give him more years and a better quality of life.”
Stephanie soon learned she was a perfect match.
“I’m 23 and healthy, so if I have a spare part to give then go ahead! I love my dad.”
Though thankful for his daughter’s willingness to help, Luis wanted to make sure it was the right decision for her. “Up until hours before the surgery, I kept telling her that she still had time change her mind,” he said.
On May 13, 2013, Luis successfully underwent kidney transplantation at Jackson Memorial Hospital. “There was never a doubt in my mind,” she said.
Luis is looking forward to living a long life and returning to work at Turner Construction.