New Brunswick

Son gives dad kidney for Father's Day

A Sussex, N.B., father received an extraordinary gift from his son just in time for Father's Day — a new kidney.

A Sussex, N.B., father received an extraordinary gift from his son just in time for Father's Day — a new kidney.

Arthur Cruickshank, 67, has diabetes and has been undergoing dialysis treatment for years. He lost one of his kidneys three years ago and had seen a rapid decline in his health.

His 39-year-old son Dana decided it was time to offer one of his own kidneys to his father.

"The dialysis was keeping him alive, but he didn't have any quality of life and he was dying. There's no doubt about it, he eventually would if he didn't get a kidney," Dana said.

His mother said she was taken aback by her son's decision.

"He was literally dying in front of us and finally [Dana] had enough of that," said Doris Cruickshank.

"Dana just said to me one day. 'Well, I guess Dad needs a kidney,' and I said, 'Well, yes I guess he does,' and he said, 'Well, I'm going to give him one.'"

Long waiting list

Dana said it was hard watching his dad suffering and so he wanted to alleviate his pain. His father was reluctant and considered staying on the waiting list for a cadaver kidney, but eventually he agreed to take his son's kidney.

The Cruickshanks found out last week that the transplant would happen at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, N.S., on Friday, just in time for the Father's Day weekend. 

After the surgery, Dana said his dad started feeling better right away.

"As soon as the new kidney was put in to him it started producing urine right away so he started feeling better before he was even out of anesthesia," Dana said. "He's doing pretty good."

He said the doctors and nurses were all touched by the donation happening just ahead of Father's Day. "I said, yeah, the ties and shirts my brother and sister give dad are going to fade in comparison," he laughed. 

Both father and son will remain in hospital for at least a few more days.