• Jamie York

Why I Need a Kidney, Eric Thatcher

In 2016, shortly after receiving a double intestinal transplant (small intestine and large bowel) at Mt. Sinai Hospital in N.Y. City I was cautioned that possibly within six years I would likely need a kidney transplant as they had been subjected to many years of my living with chronic illness and harsh medicines. Two months following the intestinal transplant my Nephrologist at Brigham & Women's Hospital noted through routine blood labs that my creatine levels were slowly rising signaling decreased function within my one and a third kidney. Sadly, I learned that after my transplant in Oct. 2016 doctors had changed their surgical protocol to automatically transplant a new kidney into all patients undergoing an intestinal transplant. Over the next two years my primary care doctor in RI and transplant team in N.Y. worked closely with my Nephrologist to monitor my vital signs and kidney functions. I was eventually placed on home hydration 3-4 times a week to help increase my fluid intake as I was experiencing increased dehydration, rising blood pressure and severe headaches which are characteristic of kidney failure. My quality of life was marginal at best and in 2018 my name was added into the National Transplant Registry with a 6-8 year wait for a new kidney. I've learned to become very stoic and was determined to put off dialysis for as long as I could in hope of finding a potential kidney donor but as the months went by my kidney values worsened and I became weaker spending most of my days in bed. On Feb. 19, 2019 after experiencing severe edema and dangerously high blood pressure, I was rushed to Falkner Hospital in Boston where they placed me immediately on dialysis. Out of concern for my heart and rising blood pressure I was transferred to Brigham & Women's Hospital where I remained on dialysis and was discharged on Feb. 25th which was my 37th Birthday. Sadly, my grandmother who always called to check on me over the years passed away just two days before I was rushed to Boston. It broke my heart not being able to attend her funeral. I'm back home with my mom, dad and pet dog Brutus and receive dialysis three times a week at a local dialysis center in Warwick, RI. My family and friends have been extremely supportive all during my illness and I remain faithfully confident that with the help of God I will receive a new kidney which will allow me to finally live life as it was meant to be lived and to visit other sick patients given them hope.

To be tested for Eric, contact Kristen Pelletier at 617.732.8683, (Brigham and Women's Hospital) or bwhkidneydonorinfo@partners.org. Blood Type, O+

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