D.C. Council member Marion Barry, who left the hospital shortly after noon today, said that he looks forward to returning to work next week and he plans to launch a crusade to encourage organ donation.
"You can live with one kidney," said Barry during a news conference that he held with the 48-year-old single mother who donated her kidney during a surgical procedure last week.
Barry said when he initially learned that his kidney was failing and he needed to be placed on a donor list, he didn't tell many people. There is stigma associated with bad health, he said, adding: "People act like something is wrong with your brain."
Holding Barry's hand at times, Kim Dickens said she had no regrets about giving Barry a kidney after he mentioned his need for one.
"He laid the case out to whatever was needed and I said, 'You can have mine,' " Dickens said. "When I found out that we were a total match and that our blood did not separate, it was a joyous moment. You can live with one. We are going to make this a crusade, to urge people to donate."
Dr. Clive Callender, the surgeon who led the team operating on Barry at Howard University Hospital, said Barry should be clear to attend next week's council meeting. Barry said Callender made him memorize all of the medication needed to prevent organ rejection.
Hamil R. Harris