Unfortunately our potential donor was denied this week in one of the very last tests. Please take a moment to read about Ken Roads. He is a hero and we are very thankful for everything he has done for us.
This post is to show how thankful we are for a person you knew existed but had not yet been publicly identified. Back in April I put out a pleading post. I begged someone ANYONE to call and test to be a donor for Jamey. We had many wonderful people call. Unfortunately a large majority of callers were women and many of them just didn’t have the size to give Jamey a kidney that would be beneficial. We didn’t know it at the time — but a male friend and neighbor had already made that call. After I made the April post the potential donor family decided to give us a bit of hope and let us know that they were scheduled for testing at the end of May. The end of May finally came and testing began. Two full 8 hour days of testing. Physical exams, radioactive CT scans, psychological exams, 60+ vials of blood… Everything appeared great and our donor kept in contact with us. It is a bit scary to talk to the donor about donation. It is illegal to pay or coerce a person to donate a kidney. We never wanted to say anything that could be taken as those words. We did have a few conversations. We had some tears. We had some hope.
The next step was to have the case put in front of the transplant committee. This committee is made up of doctors, surgeons, coordinators and nurses. They review every single detail to ensure that the recipient is getting the best possible shot at a healthy kidney that their body can come to accept. They also spend equal time making sure the donor is healthy enough to never need the kidney they are donating. The donor cannot have any pre warning signs of diabetes or cancer or anything that could make donating harmful to them. The transplant committee accepted our donor. He was given a surgery date and he graciously shared it with us the same day. July 31st was going to be an amazing day for our family. The transplant committee accepted our donor BUT wanted two more MRIs. The MRIs happened on Friday, the 12th. On Thursday, the 18th, our donor was notified that he could not be a donor for us at this time. Unfortunately, the doctors did not like the recent lung MRI. We understand that the findings are in no way dangerous to our donor and he is 100% healthy. He could donate to us in a year — but the transplant committee would like to monitor his lungs for that year.
Both parties were devastated. The donor promised that he wasn’t quitting – he would fight and see what else could be done. We were deflated. A donor that started processing in April finds out in mid June that they cannot help us at this time. Jamey’s health is declining rapidly and now we have to start from scratch.
Ken Roads is a hero in our eyes. He took the step that so many are afraid to take. He looked at us with big open and clear eyes and promised us he was all in. No reservations. Ken is retired military. I was sitting in his kitchen with tears in my eyes when he told us he had friends that never got to see their children grow up — and he was doing everything he could to ensure Jamey got more years with his girls.
Thank you just isn’t enough. We know Ken went through uncomfortable hours of testing — and waiting. Thank you so very much, Ken. Thank you, Amber, for being a super supportive wife and friend through all of this. Thank you for giving us hope.