On December 10, 2005, I was having Christmas dinner with my family. I became ill and wasn’t sure what had happened. I was sent to Hardin Memorial for testing. They diagnosed me with renal failure. It was caused from a long life of diabetes. It had damaged a lot of my body.
The doctors told me that I would have to go on dialysis. After about 8 months, the doctors told me I was a candidate for a transplant. I went through the testing for this, and found I had four heart blockages. I was taken off the waiting list until I could get them fixed.
After getting the blockages fixed, I was placed back on the transplant waiting list. After about 12 months, the first call came, and my family and I were all nervous, scared, and happy at the same time. To our disappointment, the organs were unable to be transplanted and we were sent home heartbroken.
I remained on the waiting list for another four more months, when the second call came. Again, on the way to Louisville, we were all nervous, scared and happy. Three and a half days later, a working kidney and pancreas, a new life, and a new family were given to me.
A few months after my transplant, we found out about my donor. A 16 year old man had been taken from his mother. It has been almost three years now, and I still go to see her and visit my young donor’s grave site, because now I know them as “my family”. A transplant has given me a second chance at life: to be a son, husband, brother father, and uncle.