Local father in desperate need of a kidney donor
"I was walking my dog and I got a call from my doctor."
It's a call that 51-year-old John Nelson never imagined he would receive.
"You need to get to the emergency room. I'm like for what?' You're kidney function is at six percent and I'm like, 'six percent? I feel fine,'" Nelson reminisces.
From that moment on, everything changed. John went from a healthy, active father and husband to a Stage 5 kidney failure patient.
Nelson adds, "With work I used to travel to DC. I mean I've pretty much had to stop because I really can't go too far. I have dialysis three days a week and it's four and a half hours a session, so I can't really go too far and I don't really have the energy."
John's life and the lives of his family members have been changed forever and for them it feels like they're trapped in a nightmare.
John's wife Andrea Nelson says, "It's been a horrible nine months and watching him suffer, I don't go through the actual pain but watching him suffer that's been the most difficult part for me."
Doctors say it could be years until a match is found. It's devastating news that those suffering from kidney disease receive everyday. News that the Nelsons won't accept.
Andrea says, "We had to do something cause we were out of options because he's going to die on dialysis. Dialysis is just a band-aid and it is destroying his body."
They've started reaching out in their community, sharing their story and educating people along the way.
"My hope is to find a match and then from that start going out and trying to get matches for other people," explains John.
The Nelson's are hopeful and the prayers of strangers are giving them strength. And to add to the cause, Andrea is hoping to help someone else in need.
"If I have a viable kidney well I'm thinking we're expecting and looking for other people to help us out, but there's other people out there that don't have anyone so being part of somebody else's story is something that you know 'why not?'"
John is in need of a kidney from someone who has blood type O.
If you or someone else you know would be willing to get tested and donate a kidney to potentially save his life, you can call the Nelson's at 443-223-7494 or email them at email@example.com.