John's Story

Everyday hero

Treating a Lifelong Kidney Problem
John Somerville never expected his stepdaughter to save his life. But Alyssa Bassett did just that – as his living kidney donor. When they walked in the door at St. Luke’s, they felt “like family.” 

Help Came From an Unexpected Source

John Somerville was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease when he was just 28. He knew the news was bad. The dangerous disorder ran in his family, and his father died from it. 

Eventually, John’s kidneys failed and his life was in danger. He needed a donor desperately. But the risks associated with this inherited disease kept any of his blood relatives from stepping forward as donors. 

Fortunately, help came from an unexpected source. When she heard about the dire situation, John’s stepdaughter Alyssa volunteered without hesitation to be his living kidney donor. 

She was a perfect match.

The family chose Aurora St. Luke’s Living Kidney Donor Program. In October 2012, surgeons removed John’s damaged kidneys and replaced them with a new healthy kidney from Alyssa. It was a unique and complicated surgery – with the best of outcomes.

Today John is both healthy and happy to be enjoying his life fully again and spending time with his family – especially Alyssa. He calls her his “hero.” 

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