Yesterday was national kidney day across the country, and for the most part it probably went by unnoticed by most people but not by my wife of I. We found out this past week that my wife, Donna, had slipped into what’s considered “stage 5 kidney failure”. Her kidney’s basically operate at 14% right now.
Since we announced this to our family and friends via Facebook we’ve both had an overwhelming response from people asking to be considered for donors. I’ve said this several times in the past, I have no words adequate to say “thank you” for someone willing to go to those lengths to help my wife live a normal life.
I’m not going to go into the details of how we’ve been working w/ Baptist Hospital’s transplant department for a long time and ultimately finding out they were closing their department. It doesn’t do any good for us to be frustrated about this. In a way it’s been a huge blessing for us. We have an amazing team of doctors and specialists (as well as support staff) at UAMS. We even have some specialists from other hospitals that have agreed to be on our team during this process, I refer to them all as our “dream team”.
For those that have asked about being tested, here are some things to know:
- Donors can live anywhere in the United States
- Donor must be under 65.
- Height & Weight do not matter, as long as donor has a BMI (body mass index) lower than 32.
- Donors can have high blood pressure as long as it is controlled by one medication, can’t take multiple medications.
- Donors can have had kidney stones in the past as long as they are not chronic or frequent.
- Donors can’t be smokers (no cigarettes for 6 weeks).
- Must have Blood Type O or A (doesn’t matter negative or positive).
- Insurance is not required since Donor will be covered by our insurance from now on.
Some of these “requirements” are different than what we were told during our time in Baptists program so if you’ve tried to be tested in the past and told you weren’t eligible, please consider being tested again at UAMS. The estimated downtime for Donors can vary and the staff at UAMS can give you a lot of information on the process.
If you are interested in being interviewed to see if you are a potential candidate, please contact us by using the form below and we will follow up with you as soon as our team at UAMS is ready to do interviews. Please know that Donna and I will be forever grateful to each of you for the rest of our lives.
If you are not interested in being a donor there is still something really HUGE you can do for us. Please add us to your thoughts and prayers. We don’t know what the road ahead is going to look like, but we do know that we are not alone. God has our backs –and he always has. Also, please share this link w/ your friends on social media!