Posting for my Son:
My name is Shawn Nahrgang. I am 25 years old. I have been living with Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD, and I'm currently in 5th stage renal failure.
15 years ago, in early fall of 2004, my mom and dad noticed that I was losing weight and not as active as usual. Over the course of weeks, I also was bruising easily and grew very pale & nauseous. Eventually, I started vomiting periodically. My parents grew very concerned; and they took me in to see my primary care doctor at OMC. After several tests, my doctor could not make a diagnosis, but he knew further workup beyond the clinic capabilities was needed; so he referred us to the Mayo Clinic for further testing.
On the day we visited the clinic, we thought I would have 1 blood draw and then I would return home, but it took several scans, conversations with doctors and tests before the doctors made their final diagnosis. 12 hours later they delivered the sad news to my parents. I was in end stage renal failure. Immediately I was hospitalized and started dialysis.
Both mom and dad went through the testing necessary to see if they qualified as living kidney donors. Both were a match, but my mom has kidney stone disease, so my father, without hesitation, became my donor and gifted me his spare!
On January 6th, 2005 at age 9, I had a successful kidney transplant. I am very thankful for the gift of my dad's kidney. We, as a family are very grateful, because it gave me 15 years of time in life to experience healthier living.
In January 2020 after routine bloodwork, my kidney doctor notified me that my creatinine level had increased significantly from fall 2019.
A kidney biopsy was completed on January 31 2020, and later on that day I was told that my kidney disease (FSGS) had gotten worse causing my only kidney not to work well enough. At the time, my kidney function was 18%. Since then, my kidney function has been in a slow decline. I am on a low phosphorous, low protein, low potassium, lower sodium diet to keep my heart, other organs and body strong enough to endure dialysis or transplant. This is what I am facing now, and my treatment options are limited to dialysis treatments or another kidney transplant.
During my last visit with my doctor, I was informed that I am at 12% kidney function and the doctors cannot slow the process of decline.
During my next visit, I will discuss with my doctor when to start regular dialysis treatments. I am currently considering in-home peritoneal dialysis. I was hoping I would find a living donor before dialysis, and am still hopefu, but it would have to be within the month of January 2021.
Regarding surgery for peritoneal dialysis:
I will need an operation to insert the catheter that carries the dialysate in and out of my abdomen. After the tube is inserted, I will likely have to wait up to a month before starting treatments to give the catheter site time to heal. This will give me an opportunity to be trained on how to use the peritoneal dialysis equipment. This process of dialysis helps filter waste, chemicals and extra fluid in my blood from tiny blood vessels in the lining of my abdominal cavity and the solution — along with waste products drawn from my blood — drains through a tube and into a sterile collection bag/sink/bathtub.
Dialysis is temporary. It will help keep me alive, but a transplant would offer me more freedom and the ability to live a longer, healthier, more normal life. A transplant would also give me more time to do the things I enjoy most, like spending time with family and friends and engaging in hobbies and work I enjoy. However, finding a kidney for a transplant is not easy. Just ask the 100,000+ people on the waiting list for a Deceased donor kidney. Time is not on our side. Some wait for years; unfortunately, many die while waiting. The average wait time is five years or more for a kidney from a deceased donor. However, there is another option: receiving a kidney from a Living donor. Asking a family member, friend or stranger to consider donating a kidney to me is difficult, but it greatly improves my chances of getting a transplant.
A living kidney donation typically lasts longer and has better function. The average lifespan of a transplanted kidney is 15 - 20 years (my last one 15 years).
You might not know a lot about living donation - I know I didn’t before kidney disease affected my life. Understandably, some people are afraid about the surgery and what living with one kidney will mean for them.
Here’s some basic information about kidney donation:
• You only need one kidney to live a healthy, long life.
• Most donor surgery is done laparoscopically, meaning through tiny incisions.
• The recuperation period is usually four weeks.
• The cost of your evaluation and surgery will be covered by my insurance. The hospital can give you extensive information on this.
• You will have a separate team of healthcare professionals to evaluate you as a living donor. Their job is to help you understand the risks and benefits and look out for YOUR best interests.
If you want to consider being a donor and gifting your spare, please follow this link and complete the questionnaire:https://www.livingdonormc.org/
"Living Kidney Donor CLICK HERE"
"Mayo Clinic Minnesota CLICK HERE"
(Optional on the form is to enter my birthday. It is 3/14/95).
To donate and gift your spare to me, your blood type must be A or O. Doesn’t matter if it’s positive or negative.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. If donating a kidney to me is something you would like to consider, I would be happy to tell you more about my story and explore the process of determining if you are a match for me.
I am not active on Facebook, but you may contact me at (507) 226-5860 so I may answer any questions you may have about me, my story or the process of donation.
To become a living kidney donor you can register @:https://registerme.org.
There are some programs available to help donor/recipient pairs with blood types that are otherwise incompatible: paired exchange is one such type.
I know living donation may not be right for everyone — but you can still help! Consider being an organ donor after death and, help me by sharing my story with everyone you know. At the very least I want to bring awareness to kidney disease and living donation. I hope my efforts will help me receive a kidney sooner and encourage others to consider helping the many people on the wait list.
Shawn Nahrgang & Family