Maryland boy who got double hand transplant can throw a football, write with pencil, do other routine tasks

University of Virginia

Donating a kidney was 'the best decision I ever made'

Donating a kidney was 'the best decision I ever made'

On May 3, I lost one of my closest friends. Tom Barrett died of multiple myeloma at the age of 55. However, Tom lived much longer than he might have, thanks to two kidney donations, one at the age of 20 and the other at the age of 43. His sister donated her kidney to him while he was a college student at the University of Virginia. I donated mine while we were both professors in the history department at St. Mary's College of Maryland. It was the best decision I ever made.

I am still mourning the loss of Tom, who died far too young. A creative and accomplished scholar of Russian history and mass culture, Tom was a dynamic and inspiring teacher. In the last two weeks of his life,...