‘We’re lucky because there was a light at the end of the tunnel’: Former FCPS Superintendent gets new kidney from daughter
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - “We knew this was right around the corner. It was just a matter of digging deep for just a little bit longer. And he did,” said Kristyn Disponette, Stu Silberman’s daughter.
A decade after he was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney disease, former Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Stu Silberman found a donor, and in the end, he didn’t have to look far.
“It wasn’t going as well as we had hoped leading up to the surgery. He lost about 20 pounds and was just feeling really down. But the support from everyone is what guided him and pushed him along. For us, we’re lucky because there was a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Silberman learned he would need a transplant a year ago. In May, he and his family started sharing their story publicly. Then in September, Silberman had to have both of his kidneys removed.
But his daughter Kristyn Disponette said people from across the country followed along on social media, they began donating to the Mayo Clinic, and many even tested to see if they were a match. Her family eventually learned that her sister Traci was.
“She wanted to do it from the start. She felt like she was going to be the person. You sometimes just get a calling, or a tug, whatever that looks like for you. She just knew.”
Disponette said the surgery was a huge success. And Traci and Stu will be discharged in the next couple days. While they start to heal, Disponette said it was the encouragement from people they know, and more surprisingly the people they’ve never met, that will stay with this family long after the scars begin to fade.
“Sometimes it takes tragedy or some kind of situation like this to bring out the best, and we were able to see that.”
Its was a scary journey that started ten years ago and finally:
“This story happens to have a great ending.”
Silberman will stay in a hotel near the Mayo Clinic for the next month. Once Traci feels well enough, she’ll be able to fly home where she’ll rest for the next six weeks.
Copyright 2023 WKYT. All rights reserved.