Positively Tennessee: Friends recovering after kidney donation

Positively Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — It was a priceless gift between friends during the holidays.

In late December, a LMU Medical student donated a kidney to his best friend. Now, three weeks later, post-surgery, we are checking in to see how they’re doing.

Michael Agostino and David Steele have been buddies since their days working at Waffle House. They have 11 years’ worth of stories to tell and pictures commemorating their adventures. When Michael graduated from college, David was there. When David had a below-the-knee amputation because of diabetes complications, Michael was there.

But their latest story is their best story.

David needed a kidney.Michael did not hesitate to offer one of his, telling us at that time, “really at the end of the day, it was no choice for me.”

Transplant surgery took place at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on December 29th. Now , less than a month later, David says, “feeling pretty good, ya know. I was really sore when I got out of the hospital. It hurt to cough and sneeze and to laugh really hard because of the staples!”

Michael says, “it’s slowly gotten better.”

The two did not let recovery time keep them from checking on each other.

“Me and Michael were going back and forth to our rooms going around talking and stuff, like, ‘you going to see your friend today?’ ‘Yeah, pretty much,'” David told us.

Michael says, “his room was all the way at the other end of the hall from me and I think they might have done that on purpose as motivation to get us to walk.”

Two friends now share an even deeper bond.

“There were some days in the hospital, he looked better than before the surgery,” Michael says, “so it was a pretty quick turnaround for Dave as far as how much better he had gotten and that’s the best feeling in the world for me.”

A grateful and healthier David Steele has this message for everyone: “if you have the opportunity to be a donor, that’s a gift. It’s just beautiful. You should do it.”

To learn more about becoming a donor, visit:

According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 100,000 people are waiting for a kidney transplant. One of the benefits of receiving a kidney from a living donor is that it usually functions immediately, because the kidney is out of the body for a very short time.

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