A Langley father of two is facing a long wait for a new kidney.
Every night, Thomas Cooper spends nine hours at his home, attached to a dialysis machine.
Cooper is in end-stage renal failure, with his kidneys functioning at six per cent of normal, according to the results of the latest test he had in July.
He needs a transplant, but it won’t be happening any time soon.
“I was told five to eight years if I wait on a donor,” Cooper elaborated.
Relatives are not an option because Cooper had Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a condition in which scar tissue develops on the parts of the kidneys that filter waste from the blood.
“It makes a recurrence [of FSGS] more likely [if a family member donates],” Cooper explained.
Because of that, Cooper has gone public, hoping to find someone willing to step up.
“I am actively looking for a kidney donor,” Cooper related.
“My blood type is O positive. I can receive [transplants] for O positive and O negative.”
Anyone interested in donating can visit www.transplant.bc.ca to obtain the necessary contact information.
Cooper has also given the Langley Advance Times permission to publish his email for anyone thinking of being a donor.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cooper ended up in hospital in May of 2020 after losing 85 per cent of his vision over a month, “due to my blood pressure being to the point that it was causing pressure on my nerve endings.”
His blood pressure was so high, one doctor told him he “should have had a heart attack or stroke,” Cooper recalled.
After a six-day stay and getting his blood pressure under control, “I was released with the new knowledge that I was in kidney failure and needed a kidney transplant.”
Then, on July 28 of this year, Cooper’s wife, Vanessa, was diagnosed with breast cancer and went in for surgery on Wednesday, Aug. 11.
Cooper stayed home from work, looking after sons sons Carter, six, and Kendrick, one.
“The past three weeks went by pretty fast,” Cooper commented.
It’s estimated that 75 per cent of 4,300 Canadians on the waiting list for an organ transplant are waiting for a kidney.
More than half of all living kidney transplant donors are unrelated to the recipient.
In B.C., 1.5 million people have signed as donors with the provincial organ donor registry at www.taketwominutes.ca, but the need for organs remains high. As of Jan. 1, 2021, there were 737 people waiting for a suitable organ for transplant in B.C.
Registration is open to people at least 19 years old, and requires a provincial health number, name, birth date and address. Those who have trouble registering their decision online can call 1-800-663-6189 for assistance.
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