Quinn was a very special person to all who knew him. He loved life, he loved people and most of all he loved his grandchildren.
His health began to fail when he was about 46 years old. He had chronic high blood pressure and was on a lot of medication for it. These medicines worked against his kidneys. He had kidney cancer and part of h
is kidney was removed. He was also a diabetic.
In 2001 his kidneys failed and he had to go on dialysis. Even though we were thankful that his life was being prolonged, the quality of life was very poor. He had treatments 3 days a week and it drained all his energy. He was very restricted in what he could eat and even how much he could drink. The life expectancy of a patient on dialysis is 3 years. After 2 years his body began to wear out. In July of 2009, you could see a marked difference in his health. The doctor told our daughter she might need to prepare me, because Quinn may not live much longer.
The Primary doctor had told us that Quinn was not a candidate for a transplant because of his blood pressure, the medications he was
taking and his diabetes. But Quinn loved life and was not willing to give up yet. He had a brand new grandson who looked just like him and he wanted to stay around to get to know him better.
We went to a kidney specialist, and after examination, Dr. Useph felt he would be a good candidate for a transplant. But first, there were lots of tests to run. Finally, on a Friday morning, the last test was performed. Because it was the weekend we didn’t expect to hear until Monday if he was going to be put on the transplant list or not. What we didn’t know until later was that everything was good and he was added to the list on Friday afternoon.
Sunday night at about 1:30 AM the phone rang. It was the hospital, they had a kidney and Quinn was a match. I cannot express the shock and joy that we both felt. .We knew this was an answer to our prayers. He received the kidney on Monday afternoon and his new life began.
Quinn lived an extra two and a half years, and they were very good years for him. He was so grateful for the time he had to spend with his grandchildren. There probably wasn’t a day that passed he wasn’t doing something with one of them. He fixed up a go-cart for one of our grandsons, got him involved in racing and he won several trophies. He took Mason and one of the trophies to a doctor’s appointment. When Dr. Oueseph came in he said,” I want you to meet Mason. He won this trophy racing and we want you to have it because if I had not got that transplant this would never have happened.”
One of the most touching moments was when the children got to the hospital. They were so happy, talking about how great it would be to have their father healthy and normal again. Then they all got their Driver’s License out and checked yes to become a donor themselves. It’s something you don’t really think about until someone you love is in need.
I’ll always be thankful for the young man who’s family decided to donate his organs. They didn’t tell us much about him except that he was on life support and there would be 5 people to receive organs from him.
We got to meet the lady who received the other kidney. A young woman with 2 small children. I can only imagine the difference it has made for her and her family. We kept in touch for several years and the last I heard she was still doing well.
I often think about the family of the donor. It had to be heartbreaking to lose a son. But what a blessing it was for 5 people who were given a second chance at life because they chose to donate his organs.