By writer to kdhnews.com
HARKER HEIGHTS — Practically 20 years in the past, retired Sgt. 1st Class Edward Diggs was identified with hepatitis C. Whereas he might hold the virus in test, the cruel therapy of the illness prompted his kidneys to fail finally.
“I used to be drained on a regular basis, I needed to sit down, I simply didn’t have vitality,” Diggs stated, who had served within the U.S. Military for 22 years. “Most days, I simply didn’t really feel good.”
Since his kidneys couldn’t filter his blood anymore to take away dangerous waste merchandise and extra fluid, Diggs began dialysis therapy on the Fresenius Kidney Care Harker Heights earlier than switching to hemodialysis — a type of dialysis carried out at dwelling.
Nonetheless, the Harker Heights resident didn’t see a lot enchancment in his general wellbeing.
Diggs’s son, Eric Diggs, who at present lives in Indiana along with his household, knew he wished to assist his father regardless of the bodily distance. Nevertheless, he didn’t instantly see how this assist would seem like.
“I’ve heard of individuals being on dialysis, however I wasn’t precisely certain what was occurring after I discovered that his kidneys have been failing,” Eric Diggs stated.
In accordance with the Nationwide Kidney Basis, a “dwelling donation” takes place when a dwelling particular person donates an organ for transplantation to a different particular person. A dwelling kidney donation is normally the best choice for individuals who want a brand new kidney for the reason that wait time for a transplant could be months and years.
Statistics from the Well being Assets & Providers Administration present that over 90,000 sufferers have been on the waitlist for a kidney in 2020, however lower than 23,000 transplants have been obtained.
“It was a type of issues the place I used to be simply too comfortable to have the ability to volunteer my kidney to him,” Eric Diggs stated. “My dad has all the time been there for me. He’s a extremely good man. I used to be very younger as my mother handed away, however my dad wasn’t the kind to … give me to grandparents or any person else. He manned up and took care of his obligations and all the time took care of me.”
Now Eric Diggs felt prefer it was time to deal with his father.
After initially declining his son’s provide, Diggs got here round and accepted the donation, however the Covid-19 shutdown and the non permanent ban of all elective surgical procedures postponed the process for 18 months.
Due to the wait, Diggs was on dialysis for greater than three years.
Though he by no means complained, his son discovered by means of his stepmother that his father wasn’t in fine condition.
“He’s simply not the kind of man to make anyone else fear, you understand,” Eric Diggs stated.
Because the look ahead to a surgical procedure appointment was lastly over, the VA took care of all logistics and monetary burdens, together with transportation, process and medicine.
“It was superior,” Diggs stated. “All I needed to do was join it.”
Diggs and his son needed to take a number of assessments earlier than the process, which passed off on the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Heart in Houston on Aug. 3
“All the things labored out superbly,” Eric Diggs stated. “It’s simply such an honor to have the ability to assist him. Folks say they love one another and issues like that, however I really feel like having the ability to put love into motion … means a lot extra, and I’ve simply been so comfortable to have the ability to give again to the one I contemplate my hero.”
After the process, Edward Diggs needed to keep within the hospital for one week and domestically in Houston for the next weeks to get common lab work and follow-up check-ups. His son was capable of return dwelling to Indiana after one week within the hospital.
“My spirit modified in a single day,” he stated. “It’s a distinction like night time and day. My son gave me a second life.”
Along with his new vitality, Diggs needs different sufferers to remain optimistic as effectively.
“I would like all of them to know that each one issues are doable,” he stated. “Proceed to consider that you’ll obtain a kidney sooner or later and don’t surrender. I had the need in my coronary heart to obtain a kidney, and I did … I used to be simply lucky to have a son that donated his kidney to me.”
Residing kidney donation is the best choice for individuals who want a brand new kidney. In accordance with the Nationwide Kidney Basis, donors must be in good bodily and psychological well being and must be 18 years or older.
— to kdhnews.com