Pulaski-area man gets his miracle kidney
PULASKI, Wis. (WBAY) - A Pulaski-area man in need of a miracle kidney donation received a transplant Friday.
Action 2 News introduced you to Joe Schmidt this week. The 38-year-old, married father of six learned about 18 months ago that his only kidney was failing. He had donated a kidney to his sister in 2008. The siblings have a rare and genetic form of chronic kidney disease.
“When I donated to my sister I was 21, 22 and they did all the testing they didn’t know about this autoimmune one,” he said.
Joe’s wife posted on Facebook that they received a call from Mayo Clinic Thursday saying they had a young donor kidney for Joe.
“We quickly packed our six kids and dog, dropped off with friends and grandparents, and raced to Minnesota full of emotions,” Angela Schmidt writes.
After a series of tests, the family was informed the kidney was a good fit for Joe and they were ready for surgery. It was a success.
Joe texted reporter Emily Matesic after the surgery: “Emily, thank you for doing my story!!!! We got the call yesterday and got a cadaver kidney. Surgery went well and the kidney seems to be working! I can’t thank you enough, this would not have happened if it wasn’t for all the prayers we received over the last few days!”
Action 2 News will keep you updated on Joe’s recovery.
CLICK HERE to donate to a GoFundMe for Joe’s family.
A Pulaski-area man, married and father of six, is looking for a miracle. After donating a kidney to his sister more than a decade ago, Joe Schmidt now needs a new kidney of his own.
For hours each and every night, Joe Schmidt is hooked up to machines helping to keep him alive. He says, “There are days that are better than others. Lately it’s been, I haven’t felt as good as I have in the past, but I have zero kidney function now so everything is dependent on dialysis.”
The 38-year-old, married father of six learned about 18 months ago that his only kidney was failing. “In 2020 I went in high blood pressure. They told me, they did some tests and they told me I’m Stage 4 kidney failure,” says Schmidt.
Like his sister, who he donated a kidney to back in 2008, Schmidt has a rare and genetic form of chronic kidney disease.
It’s something doctors have only recently discovered. “When I donated to my sister I was 21, 22 and they did all the testing they didn’t know about this autoimmune one,” he said.
With zero function in his only kidney, Schmidt was recently added to the transplant list through the Mayo Clinic. His ideal donor would be a healthy man or woman with an O-negative blood type, the same as Schmidt’s.
It’s a search that’s proving to be a challenge. His wife, Angie, adds, “There’s somebody out there, somewhere, we don’t know who they are, but somebody is going to save my kids’ dad’s life. I know they’re out there. It’s just finding that person.”
The family has taken to social media and they’re sharing his story publicly in hopes someone will volunteer to be Schmidt’s donor.
He says, “It would be good to get back to a normal life and be able to do stuff, do everything.”
Because he has so much to live for. And according to his wife, “He can’t live forever like this, so a kidney would literally save his life, save his life.”
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