Vance NCO gives special gift

  • Published
  • By SrA Amanda Mills
  • Public Affairs
Most everyone's holiday gifts to their parents are heartfelt, whether it's an article of clothing, a fragile collectible or even a handmade item.
One Vance Air Force Base staff sergeant improved his father's life.
When Robert Hoy suffered a stroke in July, his family feared his only functioning kidney -- that was only functioning at 5 percent -- would also fail. His four children were tested for donation compatibility.
SSgt David Hoy, 71st Security Forces Squadron NCO in charge of deployments, was the only compatible donor.
Although Mr. Hoy did not want any of his children to donate a kidney, he agreed after his health digressed. The decision was a "no brainer" for Sergeant Hoy.
"My dad gave me plenty of options to back out, but of course I didn't," Sergeant Hoy said. "I want to see him grow with his grandkids and see his children in their adult lives and how they've done with his guidance."
So Sergeant Hoy started the process. He enlisted the help of the 71st Medical Group to complete his paperwork and get it approved. Once the donation was approved, Sergeant Hoy scheduled an operation date with the Oklahoma University Medical Center.
Sergeant Hoy and his father, who lives in nearby Helena, Okla., traveled to the hospital together the morning of the surgery.
"I wasn't scared," Sergeant Hoy said. "I was more anxious."
The operations were performed in rooms next to each other and lasted about four hours. Mr. Hoy's procedure was about an hour longer. Both surgeries went well.
"I was in the hospital for about three or four days, and my dad was released three days after I was," Sergeant Hoy said.
"That doctors and modern technology have the ability to prolong the life of a loved one is just amazing," Sergeant Hoy said softly. "It's tear jerking just to talk about it."
Mr. Hoy could only say how appreciative he was of his son.
"I want to thank all the people who helped my son get this done, and thank my son for being brave enough to give the kidney to me," he said.
For others who may be considering donating a kidney, Sergeant Hoy offered this advice.
"If you're going to do it, listen to the risks and weigh them ... if you're healthy and you've done your research, do it," he said. "The outcome is mostly always better that what could be, and it's definitely worth the pain and sacrifices you'll make."
He also said not to rush the recovery time and let the body heal for those who go through with the process. Anyone looking for advice can call him, he said.
"I also want to thank my wife Jenni and (her parents) Ron and Donna Munyon for their support during this process," Sergeant Hoy said. "There was no way I could have done this without my wife being there for me. She stayed in the hospital and at home with me until I could move better. Ron and Donna Munyon took care of my kids until Jenni and I came home. I'd also like to thank the medical group and security forces for their support. Without their time and help in filling the holes I left in the workplace, I wouldn't have been able to do this. I also appreciate SSgt (Don) Wright and SMSgt
(Kent) Wilkinson for visiting when I was in the hospital. There's just no way to show all the people who helped me through this, how much I really appreciate them."