The Backmeyer family of Kamloops is about to begin a search for a living kidney donor for their daughter, Ferris, 4.
You will recall that Ferris underwent a transplant in Vancouver on March 6, but there were complications and the kidney was removed mere hours after it had been put in place.
After meeting with the medical team in Vancouver earlier this month, Ferris’s mother, Lindsey, wrote on Facebook that “there were a lot of factors that likely played a part in the failed transplant. The big one is that the kidney had two arteries — one that was apparently hidden and not identified when retrieved. . . . One of the requirements the surgeons had along with it needing to be small was that it be a single-artery, single-vein organ.”
One thing led to another, and clotting led to other issues creating “back pressure and bleeding.” Thus, the transplanted kidney had to be removed.
All of that, though, is in the past.
“For now,” Lindsey said, “the plan is to try and find her a living donor kidney.”
At the meeting in Vancouver, various options were discussed and Lindsey said the plan now is to “have her ready to be transplanted again by September.” That would be six months after the previous attempt.
Going into the Vancouver meeting, Lindsey didn’t think that a living donor would be an option. However, the medical team “expressed a strong desire for a living donor for Ferris . . . there are way too many benefits for a live-donation transplant.”
And so the search for a donor is about to begin.
“They will be incredibly selective in who they will test, but live-donor testing will resume right away!” Lindsey wrote.
Having been down this road with my wife, Dorothy, I can tell you that it isn’t easy asking someone for a kidney. It’s not like asking for a $20 loan, I can tell you that. And that is what the Backmeyers are going through.
As Lindsey put it, “I really don’t like canvassing for a kidney. It feels so weird to me, but her life depends on this . . . so be ready for all the Ferris poster spam!!”
Bring it on, Lindsey, bring it on!
Meanwhile, Zach Tremblay, a young man who has been mentioned in this space on a few previous occasions, is just off a big weekend. Zach, who lives in Robson, B.C., has graduated from high school.
That is quite an accomplishment, when you consider that he has been making three trips a week down the highway to Trail where he undergoes hemodialysis for about four hours at a time.
Yes, Zach is waiting and hoping for a kidney transplant. Graduating from high school doesn’t put an end to any of that. He will continue to make the trek to Trail, and he still needs a kidney.
If you’re able to help, the contact info is further down on this post.
That brings us to John Casey, a happy part of the Kamloops Kidney Support Group.
He was released from St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver on Sunday after having undergone a kidney transplant on May 31, three days after he and his wife, Marlene, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.
“I’m finally out of the hospital and the new kidney seems to be doing well,” he wrote on Facebook. “We will have a long period of recovery and I hope to continue to gain strength. We will be forever grateful to our medical system for pulling me through all this and the amazing personal care I got in the hospital.”
John had been doing peritoneal dialysis — hooking up to a cycler every night at home and letting it run its course while he slept — for more than two years prior to the transplant.
As things turned out, John encountered some cardiac-related issues while his medical team was doing the kidney transplant. This meant that he spent time in the cardiac ward before being transferred to the renal ward.
Things have since stabilized and John now has started his trip along the road to recovery. We eagerly look forward to having him and Marlene back with us in Kamloops.
The Kamloops Kidney Support Group also is feeling sadness after the death of Norm Naylor on Sunday morning at the Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Memorial Hospice Home in Kamloops. . . . Norm had kidney issues, but also was fighting cancer, and it was the cancer that finally took him after a long, hard battle. . . . Whenever the pandemic recedes and allows the KKSG to resume its monthly gatherings, Norm’s smile and dry sense of humour really will be missed. . . . Condolences to his dear wife, Evelyn, and their family.
If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:
Living Kidney Donor Program
St. Paul’s Hospital
6A Providence Building
1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6
Toll free: 1-877-922-9822
Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney
Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre
Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9
604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182
Or, for more information, visit right here.
Want an easy win to feel great? Register to be an organ donor today. It will only #TakeTwoMinutes and you could save a life. Great deed and fuzzy feels without any hassle. #Register2Give taketwominutes.ca