NARRAGANSETT- For most parents, playing outside with their children is something that is part of an everyday routine. But for one Narragansett resident, that is an activity he can only dream of doing.
Mike McDermott, 31, is the father of three daughters and is in need of a kidney transplant. McDermott said that it all started when he was younger and had strep throat. His immune system was weakened from the infection and his kidneys were attacked by the infection Glomerulonephritis.
Glomerulonephritis is a type of kidney disease in which the part of the kidneys that helps filter waste and fluids from the blood is damaged, McDermott explained. Not only does this disease cause blood and protein to be lost in the urine, but it also causes his immune system to be extremely weak.
Shortly after he was diagnosed with the kidney infection, his kidneys continued to become weaker. McDermott’s kidney condition reached the point last year when doctors told him that the only solution would be to receive a kidney transplant. Since his wife is a registered nurse in Wakefield, they were aware that he was not healthy, but he said he did not expect to hear that diagnosis.
“When the doctor told me I was going to need a kidney transplant I was literally speechless; I was shocked,” said McDermott. “I knew that I was having difficulty with my kidneys but I never thought it would come to this extreme. I am young, I am only in my thirties and it really has taken over my life.”
McDermott is also a manager at T’s Restaurant in Narragansett. Now instead of spending his spare time outside of work with his wife and children, he has to spend nine hours a day hooked up to his home hemodialysis machine. This treatment removes water and waste out of his blood, which improves his heart health and blood pressure.
Since the next step for McDermott is to find a living donor, he has been put on the waiting list at Rhode Island Hospital. The unfortunate part is that he could remain on the list for at least six years due to his O negative blood type. Even though his blood type is considered as the universal donor, which allows him to donate to all blood types, he can only receive blood from other O negative or positive blood types.
“It is kind of crazy that I can give to everybody but can only get my blood type,” said McDermott. “All I really need is someone with O blood type and unfortunately that puts me on a long waiting list, and to be honest I don’t know how long my body is going to be able to wait or how long my immune system can survive.”
The requirements for donating a kidney to McDermott are that the person must be O blood type, have no history of high blood pressure, have no history of cancer or diabetes, and have a body mass index less than 35.
If someone meets those requirements, the next step would be to speak with a transplant coordinator at the Rhode Island Hospital. At the hospital, they will have to complete various tests to determine if they qualify as a donor. The process of becoming a donor can take as little as four months, which is a big difference from six years, McDermott said.
“I mean if you meet these few requirements and are a match, it would change my life. Even though I am extremely thankful for the support of my amazing wife and family, it really weighs down on us. We are young and I can’t even go out and enjoy time with my children,” said McDermott. “You can live with one kidney, and if you meet the minimum criteria please help me, help my family and help us get a healthy life again.”
If you meet the requirements and are interested in being a donor, contact Mike McDermott at 508-989-6005 or firstname.lastname@example.org .