Saturday, May 18, 2013

Brad's Journey with Kidney Disease to Transplant

Brad is beginning a journey for kidney transplantation.  Here is a look into the last 3 years as this has evolved. 

Three years ago Bri was very sick in one of our area Children's hospitals. Bri had severe abdominal pain that brought even me a mom who you have to be really sick to go to the ER to our local ER.  Bri was transferred to a children's hospital where she had an appendectomy even though her appendix upon observation looked ok.  There was no other clear signs of her pain.  She battled the pain for several days and was discharged home thinking she needed a major surgery to correct a hiatal hernia which would leave her with a feeding tube for a while.  You can only imagine how devastated we were.  She continued to have pain and after talking with another nurse friend we discovered that she had a kidney stone on her CT.  The question came up could this be the cause of her pain.  We went to our local nurse practitioner, Tammy Foltz who has been nothing but a god send for us and she quickly sent us on our way back to the children's hospital.  It was confirmed that yes she had not one but multiple stones.  As Bri laid in my lap and cried with pain we went to the car and got more narcotic pain meds,  they decided this was not the cause of her pain.  Although at the time I was very frustrated, it was a blessing and part of God's plan.  We left and since it was a Friday we made sure we had enough pain meds to get through the weekend.  (remember we don't go to an ER for just anything) I came home and by Saturday evening after 11 days of this,  I was looking for an alternative doctor I called another primordial family and got the name of their nephrologist, Dr. Craig Langman.  I researched and found his email and made contact.  By Sunday afternoon, he emailed me back, called me on the phone and insisted Bri come and be admitted in Chicago Memorial Children's Hospital for evaluation.  Bri was evaluated and treated for her kidney stones,  her hypertension, and her hiatal hernia (not requiring surgery for that).  Upon discharge, Dr.  Langman asked to evaluate Brad.  

During that summer, Brad had his first visit and a battery of tests.  It was found that Brad has only one kidney really working and not at its full potential.  His labs even indicated this.  He also had hypertension.  Overall, Brad was in Stage 3 of 5 Kidney failure.  This was uncharted territory for the medical team and us.  Dr. Langman made a plan, he discussed dialysis and transplant alternatives at that time.  We were all shocked and devastated.  Brad had been a picture of health, vibrant and athletic, he had tackled 3 brain surgeries in 3 weeks in 2008.  Brad's kidneys progressed downward over time and quit making the hormone needed for production of red blood cells.  He became anemic and after a full evaluation by hematology locally. Dr. Floyd and Dr. Langman decided to put Brad on injections of Aranesp every 2-3 weeks with blood draws every month.  Who would have guessed Brad would walk out of his appointment celebrating that with just some shots and blood draws he would get his energy back.  What an example of how to embrace what life deals you.  How to see the bright side of things...  

So here we are today, we went Tuesday for his routine visit.  Brad's kidneys continue to slowly decline.  Dr. Langman talked with Brad about kidney transplant and dialysis.  Brad has made the decision to go forward with the journey of kidney transplantation.  His case with be presented to the transplant team at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago on Tuesday.  Brad sees it as a way to keep feeling good to be able to live life to its fullest.  He never batted an eye of disappointment,  I guess the years of him hearing "it is what it is" from me has paid off.  He walked out of the office, downloaded Skype, made an appointment to take an oral exam, took it, did his best, and went on to his Turkey hunting adventure where he got a "Big Ole Turkey"  set up by Big Heart Outdoors

God is Good All the Times. He holds the plan and its always a good one. We welcome each of you to follow Brad's Transplant Journey.

 Please share to help Brad during this journey~ 

Thanks for the support
 The Jordan Family


  1. Brad we have followed you on your journey mostly in the cloud as they say but you know we love you and your family more than we can express. We have built lots of memories over the years and will continue to do so. You have been given a great gift, the ability to make people feel that everything will be alright and live your life to the fullest each day. Just live spontaneously and just do it!!