There are all sorts of surprises in this world, ranging from wonderful and exciting to sorrowful and sad. Surprises can be both welcome and unwelcome, something we hate or something we love.
When a surprise manages to intersect many of those feelings all at once, that's when you know you have something truly amazing on your hands. This is something John Ivanowski surely recognized after receiving the surprise of a lifetime courtesy of his daughter's generosity.
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Anything And Everything
When it comes to family, we would do anything to save them. Maybe you think this way about each and every member of your family, or maybe there's one with whom you have a particularly special bond with. Either way, you know in your heart that you would do absolutely anything to rescue them should you learn that they're in danger or in need of assistance.
But what if that family member refuses the help, not wanting you to put yourself in harm's way for their sake? Well, then you might have to be a little sneaky in order to get them what they truly need.
No one knows this better than Delayne Ivanowski, a woman from Missouri who had to work behind her father's back to save him.
In 2021, her father, John Ivanowski, was diagnosed with the kidney disease IgA nephropathy. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, it is a chronic illness that "can lead to end-stage renal disease" and causes the kidneys to stop functioning entirely.
This is a very upsetting, frightening diagnosis to be given, for both the patient and their family.
No Matter What
Delayne, of course, wanted to do everything she could to help her father—even if it meant going so far as to donate one of her kidneys so he could get a transplant.
However, John forbade her from doing so. He told her over and over again not to donate her kidney, as he didn't want her putting herself out for his sake.
His words alone were not enough to stop her. As she told ABC News in an interview, "I was like, 'I'm going to do it. I don't care how mad he is at me.' At least he'll be living a good life and not hooked up to a machine."
Playing The Long Con
Things only became more urgent once John actively entered kidney failure, meaning he was on an even tighter deadline to find a kidney donor.
Delayne knew her father's time was limited, and also knew he desperately needed a transplant, so she decided to go against his wishes and donate one of her own.
According to Good Morning America, with whom she also gave an interview, she kept this plan of hers a secret for nine months. By the time she finished all the testing needed to qualify her as a donor match for her dad, he was on dialysis, receiving treatment three times a week for three hours at a time.
John's fear about his daughter donating wasn't entirely unfounded. Now over 15 years ago, he lost his child to cancer and was not prepared to see another one of his children die of a medical issue should something go wrong with the procedure.
"I thought, I lost my boy and if anything happened to Delayne, I don't know what I would do," he had explained. "It was a big concern."
Even with his reasoning, Delayne went ahead with the donation. As she puts it, "I'm not good at being told no."
The Big Reveal
The transplant surgery took place on February 16th, 2023, and everything went swimmingly.
The workers at Washington University & Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center worked with Delayne to keep her secret. It wasn't revealed until the next day, when she walked into her father's recovery room also in a gown and with an IV trailing beside her.
The moment he figured out what happened was captured on video and posted to TikTok, which has now been viewed over 4.6 million times.
A Change In Tune
"I knew right away," John told ABC News. "I was upset. I was just in shock."
Since the initial reveal, he's brightened up and changed his outlook on the situation, saying that he "wouldn't change a thing."
"I feel so much better."
The TikTok featured a plea to Delayne's followers, saying that if 6000 people donated $1 to the GoFundMe she had set up for her dad, they could pay off his surgery. Of the original $5000 goal she had set, they've now raised over $17,000.
Above And Beyond
In an update on their GoFundMe page, she explained how their insurance doesn't cover both surgeries, so any extra help was appreciated. And extra help they got, now having earned over triple what they'd originally requested!
"As their daughter, I know how much [my parents] have sacrificed for me in my 25 years of living and it is in my heart to want to do everything in my power to help them through this stressful time," she wrote.
She also shouted out her mom, saying, "I want to thank my mom for being the strongest woman in the world and helping everyone though this hard time, when she is also hurting."
Not Just A Spectator
Despite her father urging her not to get involved and wanting to keep her out of any potential danger, Delayne saw his situation for what it was and knew what she had to do. She was not about to sit idly by as her father's health deteriorated when there was something she could do to save him.
Her story is a perfect example of why doing what someone wants is not always what's best for them and why a little (or big) white lie every now and again can be completely justified.
The Greater Outcome
In our lives, our main pursuit should always be to do as much good as possible. This is regardless of creed, opinions, or otherwise. We should constantly be striving to put as much good energies into the world as humanly possible, and sometimes that means having to do a small bad thing in order to make a bigger, better thing happen.
When faced with the question of do the ends justify the means, zoom out and look at the situation as a whole. Do these proposed ends bring positivity and light into the lives of others? Is that light brighter than the means needed to get there? The focus on others' lives is what's important here, as you never want to be driven by purely selfish means.