If you are a regular here, you know that we have been following Stephen Gillis, a Vancouver minor hockey coach, for the past few weeks.
He went through his final hemo-dialysis treatment on Monday and underwent a kidney transplant on Tuesday at Vancouver General Hospital, his good friend Michael Teigen giving up one of his kidneys.
Gillis updated us with a Wednesday evening post on Facebook:
“The transplant was beyond successful. The kidney is working perfectly. For my first steps with three kidneys I went to see my hero, Michael, and thank him. He is doing very well and will hopefully go home in the next day or so.
“I will be monitored till the weekend in hospital then home for more recovery. Had an ultrasound (Wednesday) afternoon where I saw the kidney inside me. The human body and what we can do with it is absolutely amazing.
“I can’t believe this all happened and I am beyond grateful to Michael, Dr. Dave the surgeon and his staff, VGH transplant floor nursing staff, VGH Nephrology team, and all of you for your endless support.
“Thankful that my love Dany has never left my side through all of this, and my best friend since we were kids, Keith, made it all the way from Cape Breton to be here for me. Thankful that Michael’s beautiful partner Denise and their best friend (who filled out the donor application), Diana, could be here to support him and be by his side. I feel we are all so lucky. Thank you!”
Yes, Gillis now has three kidneys in his body. As he added to his post in response to a query: “They leave the failed ones dormant and just add the new one. It lives in my left pelvis.”
In a response to that, another transplant recipient wrote: “You have three kidneys for now but after transplant your native kidneys shrink and shrivel up. You can’t even see mine on ultrasound anymore!”
My wife, Dorothy, was born with one kidney, although we didn’t find that out until 1981. When that discovery was made, we also learned that her one kidney was malformed and was losing efficiency. When she had her transplant on Sept. 23, 2019, the deformed kidney was left in place, on the left side of her torso, with the new one going in on the right side.
Gillis’s new kidney, which used to belong to Teigen, also went in on the right side.