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Norwich — At first, retired Norwich police officer Mark Kalinowski’s story looks like every other particular person’s 12 months of COVID-19, with private issues added to the burden of the pandemic.
“Frightened about medical stuff. Frightened about monetary stuff,” he stated, summing up his previous 12 months. “And we needed to put down three cats.”
However for Mark and his spouse, Dianne, this was completely different.
Throughout Memorial Day weekend of 2020, Mark Kalinowski felt achy, drained, had a fever and sniffles. Everybody figured it was COVID-19, however he examined adverse. His daughter, Alysha, a vital care nurse at Backus Hospital, known as his major care doctor and requested for a sequence of particular checks.
The day after the checks, Kalinowski’s physician known as and stated to fulfill him at Backus to be admitted. Kalinowski was in kidney failure.
Kalinowski, 59, bodily lively and glad together with his second profession as a mortician on the Church & Allen & Labenski Funeral Houses in Norwich, was recognized with Goodpasture syndrome, a uncommon autoimmune illness that may assault numerous organs, in Kalinowski’s case, each his kidneys.
Kalinowski spent 23 days at Backus present process quite a few therapies, together with plasmapheresis, kidney biopsy, chemotherapy to “reset” his immune system and hemodialysis. His kidney operate had fallen to 2%, he stated.
Kalinowski is out of the hospital and now is a affected person within the transplant unit at Brigham and Girls’s Hospital, a part of Boston Medical Heart.
His every day life has been altered dramatically.
He’s on household incapacity from his job, with one-third pay. He can’t raise something above 20 kilos and tires simply. He was cleared to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine and did. His immune system has rebounded, so he now not must be “a whole germaphobe.” He walks his two black Labrador retrievers every day as his essential supply of train and delight.
Kalinowski can’t eat or drink objects that comprise phosphates, caffeine or excessive salt content material. He’s restricted to not more than 1.5 liters of fluids of any form per day — “just a little extra if I’m out doing one thing and sweating,” he stated. Aside from water, his most popular beverage is Crystal Gentle lemonade.
And he should “plug in” to his peritoneal dialysis machine from 9 p.m. to six a.m. every day. The machine is related by wifi to the hospital for every day monitoring. His dialysis fluid provides arrive at his Norwich residence by field truck each month. One neighbor lately requested if he was getting a load of furnishings delivered.
“I needed to say, ‘No, these are my medical provides,’” Kalinowski stated. “Most individuals who get medicines delivered by means of the mail get them in a package deal, not a field truck.”
Kalinowski had been spreading the phrase on Fb that he was searching for a reside kidney donation for the perfect prospects of long-lasting restoration. However seven folks, together with two strangers who noticed his posts, who provided to donate a kidney proved to not be good matches after present process checks for suitability, Kalinowski stated.
He lately broadened his search to incorporate a possible cadaver donor, including his title to searches carried out by the Yale-New Haven and Hartford Healthcare hospital teams, in addition to Brigham and Girls’s Hospital. However he nonetheless would favor a reside donor.
Along with his kidneys now performing at 4%, Kalinowski is simply persevering with his every day routine and ready. He attended a Jeep rally on the Hebron Fairgrounds a few weeks in the past as a deal with. He has watched YouTube movies on kidney transplant surgical procedures and occasional TV reveals on the topic.
“It’s my hope to get my story out as a lot as attainable,” he stated, “to attempt to discover an angel.”
Anybody who want to assist or has questions on being a dwelling donor can contact registered nurse Karen Curreri, medical transplant administrator at Boston Medical Heart, at (617) 638-8368 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Day Workers Author Kimberly Drelich contributed to this report.
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