Thousands are on the list for a living organ donor, including a Rapid City man
It’s been a year and a half of health struggles and strife for local man Joe Prouty. After learning he was suffering from a complicated blood disease - he has been taking one day at a time trying to get back to some sort of normalcy but there may be something you can do to help.
Joe Prouty, a healthy and fit man became sick last June. He was feeling fatigued and losing weight- it took doctors at Mayo Clinic weeks to diagnose his blood disease which they say is a complicated case. It caused his kidneys to shut down.
Doctors treated his disease with chemotherapy and dialysis and even a bone marrow transplant before the disease was under control.
It’s been a long road and it doesn’t end here; he is on many medications and must receive dialysis three times a week -leaving him fatigued and depleted. He’s not able to fully participate in the life he once lived.
Joe says, “I can’t hold a job, really because I’m always at doctor appointments, and besides the fact that I get fatigued really easily, and you know I can’t be on my feet for too awful long so it makes it tough.”
His only saving grace would be a kidney transplant.
Joe says, “If I get a kidney, I’ll return to normal again, my blood will filter again like it’s suppose to – my potassium and phosphorus and all that stuff will go back to normal, and I can basically live a normal life.”
He is one of thousands on the waiting list to receive a life saving organ transplant.
The success rate of a living donor transplant is 99%, the patients new kidney will begin functioning immediately.
The Mayo Clinic in Rochester does more living donor kidney transplants than deceased donors, which is unique.
Requirements to be a match are you have to be healthy and take a blood test to check compatibility with the organ recipient. Kidney donation surgery is common and generally safe for healthy adults.
Mikel Prieto, M.D., a Mayo Clinic transplant surgeon, says, “Donating a kidney is a relatively easy surgery to do with very few consequences for the donor – we can do the operation laparoscopic, meaning we make a very small incision on the donor. The donors tend to recover quickly and they don’t have any significantly long term side effects from donating a kidney.”
You don’t need to be a match to help, donor chains allow patients with incompatible living donors to form a chain to receive compatible donors. Giving an organ to someone in need is giving the gift of life while you are still living.
Prieto says, “We can really help somebody change their lives for the better.”
Joe adds, “Oh- it would mean the world, yeah it would be definitely life changing for me.”
Before his illness, Joe also served as a reserve deputy sheriff and worked at the family business, Prouty Pottery.
He says a positive attitude has helped him get through the tough times and the support from his wife, family, friends and the community.
To see if you can be a potential donor for Joe, click here.
To get in touch with the Prouty’s, the email is email@example.com.