Jamie Via – Kidney Recipient
Jamie has always been an active guy and has played bass in a local country band since he was 15 years old. He loves Kentucky Basketball, going to the beach and music of all genres! However, on April 28, 2011 he was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Failure and was sent straight from an appointment with his diabetes doctor to the ER at Jewish Hospital. He began dialysis the following week. It was a huge shock since he had no symptoms other than severe leg cramps during the night and blood shot eyes. We had no idea that Jamie’s kidney’s were failing and that the toxins in his body were building to dangerous levels. But we quickly learned all the ins and outs of ESRD and kidney failure. For 3 years, Jamie did Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) at home in an attempt to continue to work, but with doctor’s appointments, fatigue and dialysis he was forced to stop working last summer. Since he has always been active and enjoyed working, it was difficult for him to give up going to work. While we have made every attempt to keep life as normal as possible, there is no ignoring the effects of kidney disease and dialysis. Performing PD at home allowed Jamie to have a more normal life, dialysis can only do so much to manage the toxins and effects that kidney disease has on your body. The effects of the disease were becoming more evident every day, gray colored skin, itching from high phosphorus levels, bloating from fluid retention, fatigue due to the build up of toxins, the list goes on and on. However, Jamie is so determined he has continued to play music and has participated in activities with the American Kidney Fund.
Then on June 25, 2014 at 1:03 pm the phone rang and the Transplant nurse said the best words Jamie had heard in a long time, “We have a kidney for you, come to UK Hospital as quickly as you can.” Words can not described the feeling you have after getting that call. You are overjoyed, scared, nervous, and everything in between. Jame had his transplant on June 26, 2014 at UK Hospital. The improvement in his health were immediately evident. His color immediately improved, the itching immediately stopped, the fluid buildup around his ankles went away after about a week and the fatigue was gone. Jamie is 2 months, 5 days post transplant and he feels incredible! The difference in his health and well being amazes him and everyone around him. The gift of life that Jamie received from his donor is the indescribable. He feels so blessed and so grateful to his donor and their family for the gift he has received. We will forever be supporters of organ donation and organization like Trust for Life.