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Lost in Transplantation: Memoir of an Unconventional Organ Donor [Kindle Edition]

Eldonna Edwards
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

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Book Description

One Gently Used Kidney, Free to a Good Home.
When 48 year-old single mother, massage therapist and returning student Ellie meets a young woman with kidney disease, she decides to make it her mission to save the girl. Unfortunately, outdated rules made it difficult for altruistic donors, and besides, the woman doesn’t want a savior. Does this stop Ellie from her quest to “be the change” one seeks in the world? Not a chance.

Told with humor and self-reflection, this inspirational memoir of courage and compassion is interwoven with anecdotal stories that help the reader identify what kind of person commits the selfless act of organ donation. Ellie,a self-described devout agnostic, is kind but often irreverent. She is generous, but she is no saint. Ultimately, becoming a kidney donor has given her a renewed sense of purpose and fulfillment. Lost in Transplantation asserts that we are all capable of altering a human being's life for the better, including our own.

Editorial Reviews


Beautifully rendered story of triumphant generosity
"Part memoir, part philosophy, part how-to guide for the altruistic organ donor -- it's an unconventional read by an unconventional woman. Ellie's story is compelling and heartfelt -- and her quirky humor, pink-tipped pigtails and transparent love light up every page. I read it in two sittings and emerged feeling cleansed, inspired and grateful. Ellie describes herself as agnostic, but I couldn't help hearing the words of Jesus at the Last Supper: This is my body, given for you...." ~~Kathleen Adams, Author & Founder/Director of Center for Journal Therapy 

Beautifully written...hugely compelling page-turner. Edwards skillfully weaves a tale proving that fact is often stranger than fiction. Again and again Edwards' skill as a writer demonstrates what a gifted wordsmith can do with a nearly-unbelievable series of real life events. She is imminently vulnerable and refreshingly relatable, which makes her story that much more readable--and the be the change that Edwards was after, may very well be what happens to the reader after finishing her book." Tom Franciskovich, Publisher; SLOLIFE Magazine

From the Author

I don't think any of us roll out of bed, slug back a cup of coffee, and suddenly decide this is the day we're going to dangle our ordinary little life by its ankles. I never dreamed that meeting a particular student in a college class would teach me more than I could ever hope to learn in a book or a lecture, or change my life in such a powerful way.

When I first decided to donate a kidney I didn't talk about it much because the response(s) moved the focus away from people on the organ waiting list. But eventually I realized if I didn't talk about it, how would I ever begin to challenge others to consider living donation? I decided to share my story because when people heard that I wanted to donate a kidney they had a hard time understanding why I would do such a thing. It's difficult to explain that giving someone a healthier, happier way to be in the world is one of the best gifts you can give, one that gives back to you a sense of well-being and purpose beyond explanation. Sometimes you just have to trust that what you put out into the world will, at some point, blow back a blessing.

I believe we are all, in a sense, family. I believe actions have a ripple effect and when you put goodness out into the world it creates a wave that spreads beyond the realm of our perception. The people on the organ waiting lists have mothers and fathers, siblings, partners, friends, and co-workers who are equally affected by the result of their friend or loved one receiving an organ. Joan Osborne once posed the question, "What if God was one of us?" To her, and to you, I would ask, "What if God was all of us?""

Product Details

  • File Size: 412 KB
  • Print Length: 251 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Whole Heart Publications (January 14, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HG68Y1I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,546 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellie will always be a super star to me! January 12, 2014
By Mike
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dialysis is a horrible way to live and having to ask a person to donate an organ is the hardest thing that you will ever have to do.

Ellie is not just responsible for one transplant, but got the ball rolling for three more people with very difficult matches to have the opportunity to be freed from dialysis.

I read it twice and had never heard the details of how determined she was until now. What more can I write? I have her kidney and saying thanks for the kidney just doesn't do it. You will always be my Hippie Chick.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story. Fun, heart warming and real December 21, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The author does a great job of capturing her journey and sharing it in a story that is exciting to read. I could not put the book down. I laughed, I cried, and I learned the truths about kidney donation. I would highly recommend this book to anybody.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Story December 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My heartstrings have been pulled beyond their capacity after reading the story of compassion and sacrifice shown to a complete stranger by this author. Tears of joy and sadness fought for residence on my cheeks and I found myself flip flopping through emotions of jocularity and sadness for the varying circumstances that took place in this journaling experience of kidney donation. The writer's ability to awaken our sense of altruism is accomplished by her sweet and humble way of sharing her journey in this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't wait! December 29, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Read it now. This remarkable telling of one woman's quest to donate a kidney to a stranger is engaging from the very first page. The author's writing style is eloquent and accessible, funny, honest, sassy, but always real. One of the best memoirs I've read in a very long time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grateful to This Author October 8, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great book, for me, contains and conveys the soul of the book's author. No doubt Ms. Edwards has been told by many of her readers that she writes well. She does indeed write as if she were an angel dipping one of her own wing's feathers into ink. Her narrative flows smooth and as delicate as perfumed oil. But story, above all else, grabs the reader's attention and refuses to relax its grip. Call Ms. Edward's decision to donate an organ an act of altruism. Or call her a selfless hero. Name her courageous, if you will. All of these statements are true. Yet, deep inside any description you apply to Eldonna Edwards is an apparent love for her fellow human beings. My own transplant journey differs in its details from those of Ms. Edwards'. I'm alive to write this paragraph because a family donated a different essential organ to me. I am in awe of being alive. But I am even more in awe of those who interrupted their grieving process to give me a second chance. I honor. I give praise, and i thank Eldonna for writing this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I stumbled across this book in a regional magazine featuring local author Eldonna Edwards, I was first drawn to the idea of reading a book by an author who lives right here in my own community. I had little interest in the topic of organ transplants, but I decided to read the book for the same reason I choose many books (to learn something new) and because I wanted to support a local author. Wow, am I glad I did. I certainly did learn a great deal about the kidney transplant process, but I was simultaneously treated to one of the most delightful memoirs I've read. Indeed, after rapidly completing the book (because I couldn't put it down) and lamenting a missed opportunity to meet the author at a book signing down the street from my home, I did two things I've never before done: I recommended the book to my Non-fiction Book Club (I usually prefer to recommend something our whole group can read for the first time together) and I read Lost in Transplantation a second time. I'm a busy working mom of two, so reading for pleasure is a true escape and making the time to read often involves hiding my e-reader under the covers of my five year old's bed so I can sneak in a few chapters while simultaneously comforting him to sleep or hiding under the covers of my own bed to gently coax my busy-mommy brain to relax and go to sleep while my sleeps-like-a-log husband snores away. The point being I NEVER read the same book twice because I simply don't have time. But, I just couldn't help myself. Lost in Transplantation is not a book about kidney transplants. It is a beautifully constructed memoir of a truly remarkable ordinary person who's passion for life and love of humanity compels her to do something extraordinary. The author's style is engaging, funny, honest, and well-organized. Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost and Found July 25, 2014
By macpac1
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Get lost in the life of a woman wondering about her meaning after her son Jacob makes her an empty-nester. Enrolling in college classes she discovers the needs of thousands of people on dialysis who seek a kidney donor. Inspired to do extra credit work, she finds within herself a willingness to become a living donor no matter how many disbelieving jaws drop before her eyes. Undaunted, Ellie finds the strength, the spirit and the love to pursue her quest to extend a stranger's life. Explore her story to remember how to get lost in life so you can find the love within you. This book is a find. It will enrich your life.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book made me a better person. January 8, 2014
I like books where I learn something. Not only did I learn about what the struggle is like for the thousands of folks with kidney disease, I got inside the life of someone determined to alleviate the suffering of at lease one of these. With self-effacing humor, Edwards faces the hurtles of donating a kidney, and won't be turned back, when other altruistic donors might have given up. By the end, I felt honored to be taken along on the journey to an unexpected triumph. Edward's style, her images and metaphors, read with the grace of poetry. I couldn't stop turning the pages; I'd wake up in the middle of the night to read what happened next.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
Very inspiring story, and an important message about kidney donation. We could certainly use more people like Ellie in the world.
Published 41 minutes ago by Sue
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. Just wow.
I loved this book. The topic is fascinating and Ellie presented all facets of the subject well. She gives her reasoning for her personal decision to donate and offers up... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Review Cat
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Tale
How does someone decide to donate a kidney? This is one person's journey, "to be the change". Read more
Published 10 days ago by Susan
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!
Lynn Bolduc

As a recent altruistic kidney donor I was most anxious to read this story and w
Learn more about someone else's experience. I was not disappointed. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Lynn M Bolduc
5.0 out of 5 stars Donate to save a life
Such a good read. Eldonna sent me a copy of her book when she found out I was donating on the same day she did. She writes in such a no nonsense kind of way. Read more
Published 27 days ago by lisa allison
4.0 out of 5 stars The rocky road to kidney transplantation
The uninteresting opening failed to hook me and while it leads into the protagonist’s decision, in all probability it would have turned me off in another book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Penelope James
5.0 out of 5 stars Eldonna wrote a beautiful memoir, I couldn't put it down
Eldonna wrote a beautiful memoir, I couldn't put it down! She portrays the living kidney donation journey in such a real light. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ashley Hoyng
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for everyone
I read this while I was recovering from receiving a living donor kidney transplant. It gave me some insight into my donor who I met through a friend on Facebook. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mike Knollhoff
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring story.
This woman had a mission and was not going to let anything stop her from completing it. Great story and very much worth reading.
Published 2 months ago by Lori A. Hernandez
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story and a fast, easy read
Beautiful story. I read it in just a few hours and would recommend it to recipients and donors alike.
Published 2 months ago by A Sage Bergman
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More About the Author

Eldonna Edwards is the author of two journaling books, Journaling from the Heart and Loose Ends. Her memoir, Lost in Transplantation, chronicles a life-changing decision to donate a kidney to an ailing stranger. She is also the subject of a documentary titled "Perfect Strangers" that follows one kidney patient and one potential donor in their search for a possible match. Eldonna--who also goes by Ellie--currently lives on the central California coast where she practices massage therapy and advocates for living organ donation. Her debut novel is planned for publication in 2015.

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