David was born with a kidney defect. At the age of 2 1/2 he has his first surgeries on his kidneys. The doctors at Rainbow and Childrens said that without the surgery he would more than likely not live to see age 6.
By the age of 12 he needed his first kidney transplant. I was tested and was a match (I am his Mom). He got his kidney and overnight he was a different child. Just So full of energy.
The kidney rejected after about a year but he had grown almost 2 inches and felt wonderful.
The next 3 kidneys were cadavers so we had to be on alert for a phone call at any time, day or night.
In 1996 he started Nursing school at Lorain Community College. He wanted to be a lifeflight nurse. In 1998 his health was really bad again. His 4th kidney had rejected and he had 3 major surgeries in March, April and May. His sister got married in June and he told her that he would be there for her even if it was in a wheel chair. He still had one quarter left in school.
He made it to his sister's wedding as one of the groomsmen, got healthy enough to start back to school in August. We trained all summer to do home hemo dialysis. The machine was to be delivered on Monday August 10. On August 8th he got a call for a potential kidney and did he want it. He was transplanted Monday, August 10 at 10 mins to 11 PM.
The nursing program was revamped while he was recovering and he had to start over. He became a registered nurse and worked in the cardiac ICU at Cleveland Clinic, Trauma unit at Metro Health and Emergency room at St John West Shore. He had his first interview for life flight and waiting on the second when he lost the kidney.
Dave was told that if he wanted to pursue another transplant his best chances were at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
We started last year trying to find a donor and raising money through some fundraisers that have come terribly short of our goal. Thankfully, so many people were tested for David [he is in the pairing program at Johns Hopkins] that we finally have a compatible donor (as close as possible with all of David's sensitivities) a surgery date of May 13th and everything falling into place other than the financial part of it.
We did the first 4 transplants at our home hospital so this is our first time out of state. I had no clue it would be this expensive not even including the antirejection drugs and immuno supressants. We have to stay in Baltimore, Md. from 5 - 8 weeks. David has had over 100 surgeries including 4 kidney transplants, 4 times they have been removed along with his native kidneys, open heart surgery in 2012. Periteneal catheters in and out, 4 fistulas, many revisions, gall bladder, knee replacement 2 times. If you or anyone you know is able to help with this most recent challenge, it is greatly appreciated and thank you in advance.
David is such a fighter. He Really wants to get out of pain and back into nursing as soon as his health will permit.