Hello and welcome to Raul's Miracle Kidney Journey Page. As his wife/personal assistant I will be authoring this page and attempting to keep all of our friends and family updated on this new adventure.
Thank you in advance for your prayers and support through this challenging time.
Medical History Raul was diagnosed with MPGN (membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis) in both kidneys when he was in his early twenties. At the time there was no treatment for the disease but the doctors were able to manage other conditions this disease has caused such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fluid retention, etc. and would continuously monitor his kidney function. Fifteen years ago, we received the call that Raul’s kidneys were both in end stage renal failure and we needed to start the transplant process. I still remember the enormity of that call from Raul’s doctor. Raul had surgery to create a fistula in his arm in case he needed to start dialysis before he was able to get a transplant but fortunately never needed to use it. We were told to start asking our family and friends to be tested as donors. I don’t know how you ever feel comfortable asking for such a precious gift but I’ll never forget the day we called his sister to ask her to be tested. She didn’t hesitate for second to get tested and then donate a kidney (a kidney we named Lola) and by the grace of God she was a very strong match for Raul. The donated kidney lasted 14.5 years which from what we have been told is a very long time! We are so blessed for her selfless donation and for the time Raul has had with good kidney function and health.
About two years ago Raul was prescribed high doses of steroids to treat several episodes of gout instead of the normal medicine prescribed for gout. Shortly after taking this medicine Raul started to have a gradual decline in his vision. After going to several doctors, he was diagnosed with CSR (central serous retinopathy), basically fluid in his retina. His vision has declined so much that he was declared legally blind. He is now being treated by an amazing retina specialist in the Dallas/Ft.Worth area and has received one laser treatment without much success. He is in the process of getting referred to another hospital for a different type of treatment that will hopefully start to repair some of his vision loss. We have hope that his vision will return at some point.
Current Situation Early February 2020, Raul had his routine lab work done to monitor his kidney function. He had been feeling ill off and on since November but we attributed his illness to the Flu and regular GI issues. We had a planned visit with the transplant physician in San Antonio to review the lab work but was shocked when we received the call that he needed to go to the nearest emergency room right away and start dialysis. His creatine level had jumped to a 12.6 (normal is under 1.0). Needless to say, this ER visit turned in to an extended hospital stay and the beginning of a new routine of outpatient dialysis for Raul. His donated kidney aka Lola had done all she could do and was no longer functioning.
Raul is currently being evaluated for a new Kidney transplant in San Antonio, Texas. We are hoping that Raul will be put on the transplant registry list soon or that a living donor will volunteer to give Raul, yet again, the gift of life. I was tested when Raul first needed a transplant and I am not a match for him but I will also volunteer to be part of a kidney exchange program. I might be a match for someone else and their donor would be a match for Raul. We are praying that the best kidney for Raul will become available and he can receive another successful transplant. Although dialysis is doing its job at keeping Raul alive, it is not a good long-term solution.