Transplant patient vows to stay strong - Republic-Times | News

Transplant patient vows to stay strong

By on December 20, 2017 at 2:22 pm

Brian Schmitt

Brian Schmitt of Waterloo and his family have seen some difficult times in the past two years, particularly around the holidays. 

In the winter of 2015, Schmitt, 37, began to see his kidney function go downhill when he received a stage 4 kidney disease diagnosis. He did what he could to recover with a change in how he took care of his physical health.

But his condition worsened from there, leading to kidney failure in 2016. He is now on dialysis and awaiting a double kidney/liver transplant on the transplant waiting list.

“We were scared as hell because we didn’t know what this was going to involve,” Brian said of discovering his kidneys were failing. “They kept saying, ‘Don’t worry,’ but it’s hard because my organs are failing. So I kept thinking it means I’m going to die.”

“We were really stressing because we didn’t know what we were going to do with having to do dialysis four times a week,” his wife, Janese, added. 

Brian explained he will need both a kidney and liver because of a condition he developed at birth known as Alagille Syndrome, which is liver damage caused by abnormalities in the bile ducts. His current liver could attack a new kidney. 

“Our initial push for a kidney ended in failure. We had a donor lined up and were ready to go, but then at the last minute, they said no because we have to do the kidney and liver at the same time,” Brian said…>>> 

Read the rest of the story in the December 20  issue of the Republic-Times.

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Sean McGowan

Sean is a die-hard Cubs fan, despite the relentless peer pressure coming from the rest of the Republic-Times staff. He and his wife, Jacqui, have been married for two years. Originally from the west suburbs of Chicago, Sean and his wife moved down to Normal to attend Illinois State University and stayed central Illinois residents for the past four years.