||...I owe my life to Robert, he is a hero... Here are
photos of Robert and me in the hospital after surgery. Robert is
the attractive fellow.
...In the beginning, about twenty years ago, at age 37, I
was diagnosed with a chronic kidney disease. While the doctor
could not predict exactly when, he told me that at some future
date that I would go into kidney failure; that I would need a
kidney transplant or dialysis.
Ever since then, I had to see a kidney specialist monthly for
organ function monitoring to verify that the disease had not
progressed to the point of total failure.
Fast forward 20 years and the disease had finally had the best
of me. My blood work was very bad for 5 years and finally got to
a life-and-death point around the beginning of 2009. Early in
2009 my doctor advised me to "start looking for a donor".
Things were looking pretty bad and my health was pretty bad. I
don't think I had a pleasant day of life for 3 years. You can't
imagine what happens to your body when your kidneys begin to
fail. I won't go into all the aches and pains but suffice to say all
kinds of things start going wrong. It was BAD!
My quest for a kidney donor was on... you can't
imagine what it is like to have to ask someone to give up a body
part so that you can avoid serious health problems or death. But
when you get desperate as I was, you find the fortitude to ask.
First you start with family and in my case, my brother was willing
but he was quickly rejected by the doctors because he has high
Since he is my only sibling I had go outside the family and work
on friends and acquaintances. I talked it up with lots of people,
but no one stepped up.
One day my luck changed....here is that part of
the story...... Many years ago when I was a 16 year old hot
rod gear head I was going down an old back road and I gazed
into my rear view mirror at an old 1953 Olds with the big teeth
grill right on my ass. I dropped down into second gear and
opened up the big 4 barrel and rammed 3rd gear. I figured I
would leave that old tank of an Olds in the dust.
WRONG! That old Olds stayed right on my ass and I never
gained an inch on it. I pulled over at the next road and the Olds
pulled in behind me. I got out of my car and yelled to the driver
"Hey buddy, what the hell do you have under that hood?". He got
out and opened the hood and there sat a pair of dual quads on
a hi-riser. What a sleeper!!
I made good friends with this fellow, named John. John was up
from the Bronx at his summer house not far from where I lived.
We got acquainted and became best of friends until this day, 40
When John got married I was Godfather for his first born son.
Subsequently John had 4 more sons for a total of 5 boys!! They
are Johnathan age 27, Robert 25, Erich 22, John Micheal 18,
and Micheal 16.
All these boys are like my own sons (I have no children). I know
all 5 of these boys since their birth and I am "Uncle
Louie" to all of them and I love them as if they are my own kids.
They are all extraordinary kids because they grew up knowing
they need to work for what they want!!
But one boy stands out and he is Robert! Robert
has known me since birth; he could see what this kidney disease
had done to me over the years. Lately,
he could see I was not doing so well. One day while talking to
Robert I told him I was in need of a kidney, he thought it over and
he volunteered to be tested as a potential donor. Naturally I did
not hesitate to qualify his offer and when I found out he WAS
serious, I escorted him to the hospital for checking as a potential
After many visits to the hospital Robert was finally qualified to be
a donor. All that was left was to do the operation.
On June 25, 2009 we did the transplant, and I am happy to say I
now have a new lease on life. I am getting better and my body is
slowly mending from all the damage caused by years of kidney
failure. It is amazing and a miracle!!