Patient Testimonial

Patient Testimonial

mikey

My name is Janet Garcia and I am the proud mother of Mikey, whom as of today is 4.5 month’s post- op from a kidney transplant. No parent is ever ready to hear the words organ transplant. This was not a shock to my husband and I as Mikey had suffered from Chronic Kidney Disease since birth. Through research and trial and error Mike and I made it possible for Mikey to surpass dialysis until transplant date. It was not easy as there aren’t many websites that focus on Pediatric Kidney disease. Most of the sites and suggestions gear towards adults and that made it somewhat difficult because what would be acceptable for an adult may not be rewarding to a child.

CKD awareness is not as popular as most diseases and what many people don’t realize that this is not a curable disease. Children and adults, before and after transplant, still have to fight the battle of living with a disease. Medicines never go away. Mikey has been taking meds since he was delivered at 29 weeks and 4 days. He will forever have to take medications in order to live a somewhat normal life. I did my first Kidney 5K last year and was expecting to see more awareness with children and to my surprise it was all adult related. That was somewhat bothersome as I have seen so many children that suffer from this disease and yet there isn’t enough education or awareness out there for them.

Organ donations is an amazing gift that someone could give another person or in our case a parent of child that has an eternity of life ahead of him. Our family was lucky enough to have so many people willing to get tested and go through this procedure to save our son’s life. It came down to two of us and my incredible sister in law Melissa was the lucky one to give up her kidney and have it placed in my son. The prepping and waiting was as nerve wrecking as anything could be.

The day of transplant was even more nerve wrecking as we didn’t just have one person that we loved, we had two people that are loved. One is an amazing little boy with no fears, always showing us that there is always hope and there is light at the end of the tunnel. The other a self less person that was willing to go through the pain and what ever else came along to help a child live a normal life. A life that would allow him to be able to eat without restrictions, to be able to act like his friends, to have unlimited energy without the worry of dehydration and hospitalization.

Organ transplant is an amazing journey that has, to this day, amazed me. From the amazing surgeons to the fantastic pediatric nephrology team, it has been a wonderful experience. Going in with all the doubts and scare in the world, I never thought I would see the day that Mikey would be as normal as any of the kids around him. Organ donation is not just the donating of a kidney but the joining of someone’s selfless act to provide a normal, healthy and meaningful life to someone else and their family. Everyone should consider donating, whether it’s a kidney, blood, platelets, bone marrow, etc… What we today take for granted, may be what someone else would hold as their future of normality.

I hope that who ever reads this will gain a push to help make Kidney disease and Organ Donation more approachable and help families like mine experience a positive outcome. I hope that I can help other parents that are confused, scared or don’t have the means like we did to research and adjust our lifestyle for Mikey’s health.

With the most amazing gratitude to UM Jackson, the surgeons and the amazing team of Pediatric Nephrologists, Mikey is doing great and is growing like a weed. I hope that other families experience that greatness that we have experienced.

With Love and Gratitude,
Mikey, Janet and Mike Garcia