Post-Donation Evaluation of Life of Donors of Liver Transplantation
Aim: Liver transplantation from living donors affects not only recipients' but also donors' lives. The aim of this study was to explore living donors' experience of life. Methods: The sample consisted of 16 living donors who donated a part of their liver to a patient who had end-stage liver failure. Anonymised interview transcripts were analyzed following established conventions. Results: The analysis showed that participants evaluated their life in terms of limitations brought by organ donation surgery awareness of the need for lifestyle changes emotional changes changes in character and mixed relationships. Emotional changes involved the experience of both negative and positive emotions (feeling reputable feeling like being born again). Changes in character included both worsening of character (becoming half human turning into an aggressive person) and positive changes in character (becoming more of a believer and a humanist). Mixed relationships included feeling supported by loved ones and doctors reduction of burden of care formation of a special bond not feeling supported by potential supporters like mothers or spouses and worsening of close relationships. Conclusions: Some findings (experience of negative emotions lack of support from others) could be interpreted in terms of existing psychological theory. Other findings (worsening aspects of character experience of positive emotions improvement in aspects of character formation of a special bond worsening of close relationships) extended the literature and could be viewed as targets for educational programs for donors.