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Norwich — At first, retired Norwich police officer Mark Kalinowski’s story looks as if every other individual’s 12 months of COVID-19, with private issues added to the load of the pandemic.
“Anxious about medical stuff. Anxious 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 Kalinowski, 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 damaging. His daughter, Alysha Kalinowski, a essential care nurse at Backus Hospital, referred to as his major care doctor and requested for a sequence of particular exams.
The day after the exams, Kalinowski’s physician referred to as and stated to fulfill him at Backus to be admitted. Kalinowski was in kidney failure.
Kalinowski, 59, bodily energetic and happy along with his second profession as a mortician on the Church & Allen & Labenski Funeral Properties in Norwich, was identified with Good Pasture 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 perform 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 day by day life has been altered dramatically.
He’s on household incapacity from his job, with one-third pay. He can’t carry 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 not must be “a whole germaphobe.” He walks his two black Labrador retrievers day by day as his principal supply of train and pleasure.
Kalinowski can’t eat or drink gadgets that comprise phosphates, caffeine or excessive salt content material. He’s restricted to not more than 1.5 liters of fluids of any sort per day — “a little bit extra if I’m out doing one thing and sweating,” he stated. Apart from water, his most well-liked beverage is Crystal Mild lemonade.
And he should “plug in” to his peritoneal dialysis machine from 9 p.m. to six a.m. day by day. The machine is related by wifi to the hospital for day by day monitoring. His dialysis fluid provides arrive at his Norwich house by field truck each month. One neighbor just 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 the mail get them in a bundle, not a field truck.”
Kalinowski had been spreading the phrase on Fb that he was searching for a stay kidney donation for the perfect prospects of long-lasting restoration. However seven individuals, together with two strangers who noticed his posts, who supplied to donate a kidney proved to not be good matches after present process exams for suitability, Kalinowski stated.
He just lately broadened his search to incorporate a possible cadaver donor, including his identify 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 stay donor.
Along with his kidneys now performing at 4%, Kalinowski is simply persevering with his day by 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 exhibits on the topic.
“It’s my hope to get my story out as a lot as potential,” he stated, “to attempt to discover an angel.”
Anybody who wish to assist or has questions on being a residing donor can contact Karen Curreri, RN, CCTC, medical transplant administrator at Boston Medical Heart, (617) 638-8368 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Day Employees Author Kimberly Drelich contributed to this report.
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