Local man waits for a new kidney
By Cheryl Parker

Editor’s Note: This story is about a resident of Jesup. We are withholding his last name as his request.

Do you know someone who has had a kidney transplant? If not, it’s probably just a matter of time. There are several donors and recipients right here in the Jesup area.

Paul is on the kidney transplant waiting list at three hospitals. He is currently undergoing 4 hours of dialysis 3 times per week. His wife notes a lot of people don’t realize the critical nature of dialysis. It is not just a treatment option – “without dialysis, he cannot live.”

She volunteered to donate one of her kidneys. She has the same blood type, but because she is a cancer survivor she is unable to donate. Other family members also have compromised kidneys, or other health issues which make them unsuitable donors.

This is not Paul’s first kidney transplant. In March, 2014, he received two cadaver kidneys because they were both compromised. He had undergone dialysis for 6 months prior to that surgery. The surgery was successful, but afterwards he developed a very rare condition associated with horses. The risk is nominal for a person with a normal immune system, but to a transplant recipient receiving anti-rejection medication it was very serious. He overcame that, but then experienced several bouts of sepsis (blood poisoning.)

By the summer of 2016 those kidneys were failing him. Once again Paul was forced to go on dialysis, and continues to this day. He is eligible for one more transplant (medical personnel explained there are a limited number of “hook up points,” and when he gets another one, those will be exhausted.)

The letter at right gives a good summary of where Paul is at right now. The related article about Kidney Paired Donation reveals how you can help Paul indirectly, if you have a loved one you wish to donate to, but are incompatible. The first step in donating a kidney is to complete a questionnaire which will determine eligibility. The potential donor can change his or her mind at any time.

Read the rest of this story in this week's Citizen Herald.
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