The idea is to enlist a Living Donor Champion to help spread the story of a loved one in need of a living kidney donor. Their rescue dog, Skip, is now trying to rescue Ron.
On a Facebook Page, “Dixie Dog Kidney Search,” Skip is sniffing out a live kidney donor for his owner.
“He hit the lottery when we rescued him, Ron hit the lottery with the heart and Skip is trying to get him a ticket for a kidney,” Donna said.
The couple is also hoping to raise awareness to the importance of becoming an organ donor.
Mucha has suffered from steadily deteriorating congestive heart failure for years. He was told he would need a new heart and last May was put on an LVAD to help keep blood pumping until a donor could be found.
“I was put at the top of the transplant list for a heart,” he said. “My blood type is O-negative which is very rare.”
Luckily, Hartford Hospital found a match and he got a transplant in the fall, but the result wasn’t what he thought because his body rejected the new heart.
“They give you medication to try to stem the rejection and what happens is it effects the kidneys,” he said. “So, as a result of that my kidney function was lost.”
The 62-year-old said he was hospitalized for nearly nine months and was on the brink of death.
“October, we had him listed ‘do not resuscitate,’ that’s how bad it was,” Donna said. “He would gain consciousness just enough that somebody would hand him a white board and a marker and he would write ‘please let me go.’ He was in so much pain.”
Now, he is on dialysis three times a week and said if he can’t find a new kidney, his lifespan is less than five years.
“You don’t really understand how important it is to be an organ donor or to know there are people donating organs out there until you’re sitting there in the hospital and you’re waiting for your husband to get a heart,” Donna said.
She explained that through the paired kidney exchange, you could be helping more than one patient. If Ron doesn’t get a live donor match, the hospital will find him a match and give the organ to another patient.
“Donna got me through this and I feel if I can get better, I want to go back to Hartford Hospital and I want to help some people that went through the same situation that I have,” Ron said. “That's my goal - to get better to do that.”
Tell her Skip sent you!