When Anthony Helton was born, he weighed 2 lb. and 11oz at 27 weeks. His urethra was covered over. Urine had backed up into his bladder and Kidneys.
He was flown to UK where he was in the NICU for 6 months. While there, he had several procedures and surgeries. At this time he was diagnosed with a form of posterior urethral valves. As time went on, his bladder hardened, his kidneys suffered, and eventually he endued up on daily dialysis with a feeding tube and growth hormones. This was all used to bulk him up to prepare his body for the transplant that he would inevitably need.
As he got stronger, they were testing our family for a possible match. We thought we got lucky the first time out, as his father was a possible match. However, after further testing, they found out there was too many vessels and felt it wouldn’t work. Then as weeks went by, Anthony’s uncle was tested and again, they thought we had a match. But after weeks of tests, they found out he had a bleeding disorder, so he couldn’t donate.
During this time, watching and knowing all Anthony was going through, it laid heavy on my heart. As I prayed for a donor, I decided to get tested. It was so hard seeing him because he was so little and was so sock. He couldn’t be a normal child. He was in the hospital/Dr. Offices more than he was out.
When we found out I was a match, I felt like my prayers were answered. He would have a chance at life because of me! As crazy as it seems, I was never scared or had any doubts. I felt at peace with my decision.
I encourage anyone who is considering donating, if you are unsure, to get all the facts, ask questions, and seek support from your family and church. Doing these things, led me in the right direction, and I have my beautiful Nephew to show for it!