One Story. Two Miracles. Three Heartbeats.
Josh was born battling kidney disease and has been fighting ever since. In 2008, he had a transplant with a kidney that was donated from his sister, but after six years it failed. For the next several years, Josh struggled on dialysis.
Josh’s wife Kristi is a nurse, so he was able to do some of his dialysis procedures at home while they waited for a donor kidney. As Josh remained on dialysis, they looked for a path toward healing. That’s when they discovered the SLUCare transplant specialists at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.
Now, they just needed a donor. Many friends and family came forward excited to help, but whether it was for personal or health reasons they all fell through. Josh had been very reluctant to have Kristi get tested to see if she was a match, as he didn’t want to put her at any risk. Kristi was steadfast and wanted to get the tests done. She struggled seeing her husband in so much pain and discomfort. It was a few days later she learned she was a match and could donate!
In February 2017, Kristi donated one of her kidneys to Josh. Kristi’s recovery went well. She spent two days in the hospital, was taking short walks outside within a week, and went back to work as a nurse four weeks after the transplant. Josh did well too, it just took a little longer. He was weak at first, but was soon taking short walks within a week. Then he was back attending church with Kristi and doing a few light activities by two months. Finally, after three to four months, Josh returned to his job as a construction worker.
But the happy news didn’t end there. For years, Josh was told he wouldn’t be able to have children because of his various health conditions. So when the couple discovered two months after the transplant that they were expecting their first child, they were elated. Now Josh and Kristi are happy, healthy and expecting a baby boy in 2018!
Today, Josh can say with confidence, “My match is my hero, she’s also my wife.”
Learn more about how living kidney donation can save lives. Download a referral form packet here