'You're going to carry a real part of me in you': Portsmouth dad gives daughter kidney

Wingate said the experience of donating his kidney to his daughter is surreal. He said through faith his daughter will be able to get back to a normal life with the transplant.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WVEC) -- Ken Wingate said there is not much he wouldn’t do for his daughters. His daughter Elizabeth McClure is his eldest and lives in Washington State. 

“She was the serious one,” said Wingate.

About 15 years ago, when Wingate decided to buy life insurance for McClure, he discovered she had an incurable disease. Medical tests were required before the coverage could start.

McClure was denied coverage because of her tests results.

“They came back to me and said we can’t insure your daughter and I said why and they said because she's doing drugs. The proteins in her blood didn't look right, and the company suspected drug use,” said Wingate.

Drug use was the wrong diagnosis and further tests revealed McClure had IgA nephropathy.

“A nephrologist told her there isn't a cure and that he could control it with medication. But once it became aggressive it would just deplete her kidneys,” said Wingate.

About a year ago, things got worse for Wingate. 

“She went from 50% kidney function, down 30% to 8%,” said Wingate.

Seeing his daughters struggle Wingate had blood work done and tests determined he was compatible to be a living donor for McClure.

Wingate said the experience of donating his kidney to his daughter is surreal. He said through faith his daughter will be able to get back to a normal life with the transplant.

“Ok you're my DNA, you’re my daughter but now you’re going to carry a part of me. You’re going to carry a real part of me in you,” said Wingate.

McClure said she’s thankful for her dad. Her dad’s willingness to be her donor gives her a second chance at life.

“People don’t have the life expectancy on dialysis that you would imagine. It’s a second chance at life for me to do things and especially advocate on the behalf of other patients,” said McClure.

Wingate’s surgery is scheduled for Sept. 27, 2017 at the University of Washington Medical Center. Wingate said he’s just doing what he hopes we all would do when we see a need. 

“I know thousands of parents that would do the same thing if they were called to. That’s really all I hope everyone sees is the fact that we are called and asked to just do what is right,” said Wingate.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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