Owensboro woman donates kidney to husband

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An Owensboro couple is a perfect match in more ways than one. They created a life and family together, but one obstacle remained in the way.

Travis Van Bussum has had kidney problems his entire life. 

At 27, he found out his kidney was failing and knew one day he’d need a transplant. Turns out, it happened to be beside him all along. 

Early on in the couple’s relationship, Amanda Van Bussum learned about her husband’s problems with his kidney. 

“Probably a month after we started dating, he said he’d had cancer,” said Amanda. 

She soon realized those problems weren’t behind him when Travis was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. “He said the doctor said he’d need a kidney in 5-7 years.”

It was a life saving operation she instantly volunteered for, “I remember from when I was in Girl Scouts I’m O positive and he said that would match and I said ‘All right I’ll give my kidney.”

Not knowing for sure if amanda was an exact match, they turned to other donors.. 

“I said ‘Travis I’m going to get tested’ and he said no someone else will be a match. I said I just have a feeling.”

The feeling turned out to be right, Amanda was a match made in heaven. “It was the strangest thing, I really think it was just God. Everything just seemed to be so easy which to me meant we were doing the right thing.”

Last week, Amanda gave Travis her kidney.

“We’re gonna get to do everything we set out to do, I’m gonna have the energy and capacity to be the best dad I can be,” said Travis. 

A new beginning all because of the perfect match. 

“His hands are so warm again, his hands had been so cold for so long I said they feel like they felt when we were dating,” said Amanda. “To think we have another shot at a normal life together with our kids…that’s all we wanted.”

The couple is at home doing well recovering from their surgeries. They are both teachers in Owensboro and love working with kids, so they’re ready to get back to work.

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(This story was originally published on March 12, 2019)

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