Ross Neri

First post: Dec 13, 2021 Latest post: Apr 25, 2022
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How did we get to today and Ross's transplant surgery?  Good question! The best place to start is just over two years ago...
Ross was told in September of 2019 that his Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) had progressed to the point that he should connect with a transplant center.  Somehow we were stunned - we had not understood how quickly his diabetes was damaging his kidneys. We checked with our insurance and began the process with the University of Minnesota. There are many steps to being accepted as a potential transplant patient and there were countless phone calls and messages before we even had an intake conversation on the phone. After that came the big day long educational and assessment appointment where we learned about all of the moving parts of this journey. He was finally activated as a kidney transplant candidate on my birthday, March 25th, 2020. His official start on THE LIST was February 7th, 2020. 

While he was receiving the good news that he could potentially receive a kidney transplant, he was receiving the bad news that his kidneys had reached the point of needing the assistance of dialysis. He chose the at home option of Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) and we started classes to learn how this was going to become a huge part of his daily life. At the same time, 2020 hit with full force - Covid-19 takes great delight in attacking Dialysis patients and instead of going back to work after recovering from his PD preparation, Ross was hit with the news that his wonderful new job that he had enjoyed for only a couple of months was now off limits. The infants that he so enjoyed caring for were also too dangerous for him to be around. Child care providers can't stay six feet away from their babies and have no physical contact with them...

Every month Ross was told how he was the model CKD  patient, that his bloodwork was so good, that he was doing everything right. At the same time, every night he had to do his PD which made him feel chained to the machine, a prisoner of sorts. Rarely did he get a good night's sleep due to the alarms of the finicky machine, always wanting him to change his position.  And we waited for the phone to ring.

March 2021 he had his one year check in to make sure that he was still a good candidate for the transplant. We met with surgeon Dr. Kartik Ramanath to discuss the possibility of a Simultaneous Pancreas Kidney transplant (SPK) which had the potential of helping to control his diabetes better, protecting the future donated kidney. Dr. Kartik told Ross that he would be comfortable approving him with a small weight loss to make both the surgery a little easier and the recovery safer.  Now Ross was officially on the SPK transplant list too.

Summer came and went... We had one "practice" call but the pancreas was not suitable so we did not leave the house. On September 1st at 10:30 pm we got our second call and actually went to the hospital. Ross was prepped,  a member of the surgery team talked to us and they were taking him to another room to finish the pre-op when the call came - this pancreas was not suitable either. As disappointed as we were, it did give us some more practice for yesterday... October 26th at 9:30pm . The call that changed everything.

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