Jesse Stewart Returns After Uplifting Adventure
As you may or may not know, a little over six weeks ago (October 25th) I underwent kidney transplant surgery. I needed a kidney after a life long battle with Polycystic Kidney Disease (a genetic disease on my father's side of the family). The disease was a gradual deterioration of my native kidneys but over the past four years, my kidney function rapidly worsened.
Coping with this issue, I decided to fight and searched for solutions rather thank sulk. I was able to get activated on three transplant lists, I spread the word in various outlets (radio, vehicle advertising, Facebook) but a solution was still slow going (it's very difficult to find a donor match, especially a living donor).
After over two years of being on the deceased kidney transplant list, my prayers, hopes and dreams were answered. I received a call on September 22nd, 2017 from my pre-transplant nurse confirming that I indeed had a living donor and he was an exact match with me. Words can't explain how I felt. It's a small world as my donor turned out to be a childhood friend that I hadn't seen in years (John Pitroff of Clarksburg).
After speaking with John on the phone, we both felt great and confident that this double surgery would turn out to be a success. We were ready to go and October 25th was our scheduled surgery date. We were both a little nervous but for me, the excitement trumped any nervousness I was feeling.
On October 25th, after being prepped and put to sleep for surgery, John and I woke up after a six hour operation. We both had some mild pain but we both felt great for the most part. We were both discharged a day early because our recoveries went so well. I can never repay John to the extent of what he has done for me. Because of John, I'm able to move on with my life and achieve future goals that have been put on hold. The stress is off my shoulders and I feel great. Next to me wedding, October 25th, 2017 was the greatest day of my life.
I returned to WSBS this week after being off for six weeks for recovery which went very well. I want to thank everyone who reached out to me. Whether it was by email, phone calls, Facebook messages, cards, Go Fund Me donations, the outpouring of support was overwhelming (in a positive way). I never expected so may people to be in my corner.
Here's to great health, great family & friends and a wonderful community. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! 2018 is going to be wonderful.