At the start of June 2009 I was feeling a bit off. For about a week my vision was poor and I had a headache that would simply not go away… Tylenol was not solving the problem. On June 4th, after a bit of coaxing from my beloved wife, I went into a walk-in-clinic to see if the doctor could get to the bottom of the headache issue.
A quick check of my blood pressure revealed that things were NOT normal. The doctor immediately sent me to Rocky View Hospital where several blood and urine test were taken… the results were NOT good. That afternoon I was admitted to CCU, strapped up to some machines and more tests were completed. On day three I was introduced to a “Nephrologist” (that’s a fancy name for a kidney doctor.)
At the age of 40, with my wife 5 months pregnant, I received some devastating news… my kidneys were operating at 13% and I would need a transplant immediately.
Lucky for me, my sister, Brenda stepped up and graciously offered one of hers. After extensive testing in Grande Prairie and Edmonton it was decided in October that Brenda’s kidney was a perfect match and a transplant could take place. Since our son Owen had just been born in late September that year, a decision was made to postpone the operation for a few months. The procedure was booked for April 7th / 2009 at Foothill Hospital in Calgary.
After a 5 hour operation and 5 days in the hospital both my sister and I were released from the Foothills Hospital … the transplant was a success. 8 years later I have experienced few problems with the transplant and am looking forward to many more years on my treasured new kidney.
Through the Pet Friendly House project I intend to promote the need for organ donations. Transplants save lives and the reality is this project would not be taking place without the transplant I received. Needless to say, I know I am fortunate that I did not have to experience dialysis throughout my kidney failure. I was lucky enough to receive a kidney from a living donor without being on a wait list, and I also have been able to avoid any problems with rejection so far. Unfortunately many people who are waiting for transplants are not so lucky. Many spend years on dialysis, some lose their new organ after the transplant, due to ‘rejection’, and others never receive the organs that could save and /or extend their lives.