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Lee is thankful for his Dad, Luis, who gave him a kidney.
For three months Lee’s headaches became increasingly severe and he finally went to the doctor to find out what was behind them.
Initial test results shocked Lee and his doctors — Lee was suffering from extremely high blood pressure and was immediately admitted to the hospital.
Lee soon learned some sobering news. His kidneys were failing and he had two options if he wanted to live: dialysis and medication for the rest of his life, or a kidney transplant.
After consulting with his family, Lee decided a kidney transplant was his best option. His younger sister and father agreed to be tested in hopes that they were a match and able to donate a kidney to Lee. Lee’s father, Luis, was a government contractor living in Iraq at the time, but decided to return home immediately to be tested.
Hundreds of people are on waiting lists for a kidney donor at Sharp. Fortunately, both Lee’s father and sister were matches for his kidney transplant. Lee was very lucky that he had two donor matches willing to give and, in turn, save his life.
In the end, it was Lee’s father who decided that he would be the one to donate. “He won that argument with my sister because, well, he is Dad,” recalls Lee.
Lee remembers the entire transplant process as being “worry free” for both him and his father. He credits the Sharp Memorial Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program team who worked hard to make certain the surgery was an uncomplicated and compassionate process each step of the way.
After a fairly short recovery, Lee returned to work and to spending time with his two boys. He now says that he is living “the same life, if not a better life now.”
Lee will continue to be on a strict drug regimen to ensure his body accepts the new kidney, but says he is enjoying an active, healthy lifestyle thanks to the Sharp Memorial staff and, of course, his father. Says Lee, “My dad gave me the biggest gift that you can possibly give.”
For More Information
To learn more about Sharp's transplant services or to find a Sharp-affiliated physician, search for San Diego doctors or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. To find general information about transplant, visit Transplantation in Adult Health or read the Transplant News archive.