PLEASE SHARE AND HELP US FIND A LIVING DONOR!
It’s hard to believe that it has been a year since starting our campaign to find a kidney for our Dad. We are still searching and praying for a match and we’d like to take this opportunity to give you an update and share what the past year has been like for our Dad as he battles end stage kidney failure.
Our Dad had his first dialysis appointment on August 23, 2018. The goal was to get him on a 3 day a week dialysis schedule with each session lasting 4 hours. During the initial few weeks there were setbacks primarily centered around his fistula not maturing which impacted his ability to get a full session of dialysis completed. As the weeks and months progressed our Dad’s new life as a dialysis patient became more and more routine. He eventually graduated to the largest gauge needle which would allow him to get the most of his dialysis sessions. The poking and prodding of accessing the fistula seemed to improve slightly and in the fall our Dad was finally able to enjoy his first round of golf as a dialysis patient (this might have been some of the best medicine for him!)
We welcomed in the new year with some more highs and lows. First we learned from the transplant team that he had passed all of the testing and screening and he was officially on the transplant list … yeah! Even with this good news our Dad continued to endure setbacks. The problems with his fistula continued and this made it difficult to complete the full dialysis sessions. After numerous appointments with his vascular surgeon it was determined that his fistula was narrowing and a balloon dilation was performed to improve the blood flow so that the dialysis would be more efficient.
Fast forward to June 21, 2019: it was about 6:30pm and our parents received a phone call from the transplant team. There was an individual that passed away and this person’s kidneys were currently en route to Upstate University Hospital. Our Dad had minutes to decide whether or not to accept them. He said yes, our parents packed a bag, and they were on their way to Upstate to get prepared for surgery. The kidneys arrived and they started to run numerous tests on them to make sure that they were indeed a match for our Dad and that they were still able to be transplanted. Unfortunately, after 6 hours the doctor entered the room and told us that the kidneys were no longer viable and could not be used for a transplant. It was truly heartbreaking, but we had to move forward. We all learned a lot from the experience and he basically had a dress rehearsal for the “big show”.
Last month our Dad had his first annual meeting with his transplant team. They reviewed his medical history and the results from any tests that were performed in the past year. They determined that even though he continued to be in end stage kidney failure, he was in good health, and he will remain on the active transplant list.
As much as we had hoped that our prayers were going to be answered that evening of June 21st, they were not. Although he already had one chance at receiving deceased donor kidneys we don’t know when or if the next call will come. The good news is that there is another option for our Dad, a kidney from a LIVING DONOR. Throughout this past year we have been told time and time again that the best option for our Dad is to find him a LIVING DONOR kidney match.
So, this is where we ask again … please share our Dad’s story with everyone that you know. Post this message on your social media accounts, send it via emails and texts, or hang it up around your office and home towns. We hope and pray that his living kidney donor is out there somewhere and the next call that our parents receive will be letting them know a LIVING DONOR match has been found for Dad.
If you would like to “share your spare” (aka be a kidney donor) for our Dad, Joe Doviak, please feel free to contact Lavell C. Jones the living donor coordinator at 315-464-5413 or you can go to https://www.upstate.edu/surgery/ld_screen_form.php and fill out the Living Donor Screening form.
Again, thank you for your continued support, prayers and encouragement.
Jen (Doviak) West, Michelle (Doviak) Baroody and Heather Doviak