My Transplant Story

Read More Stories

Joshua Nelson, Recipient

My Transplant Story

FacebookTwitterEmail

josh-315Mom gave me life—twice. How many people can say that??  I can!  I’m 13 years old and 6 years ago, my mom gave me one of her kidneys so that I could feel what living really is!!!  I was born with one kidney that didn’t work at all and one that was small and not working enough to survive without dialysis. I was 4 days old when I had my first peritoneal dialysis catheter placed through surgery. I don’t remember it—or the stuff my mom went through after that. My first memory of being sick was that my mom bought me a TV for my room. I was about 3and I remember thinking it was SO COOL to have a TV in my room!!!  But it was there for a reason—I was on dialysis 12 hours a day!  As I got older, those 12 hours of dialysis was like a prison sentence to me.  Other kids were spending the night with their friends (MY friends!), going to water parks, and playing lots of sports. Dialysis was a part of my life and I needed it to live, but it was more like just surviving. How do you really live when you’re connected to a machine so many hours a day?

josh-carolyn-315As I got older, my mom started talking about “the transplant.” I don’t think I really understood what that meant. I was only 6 years old when mom and my doctors started getting me ready. I remember mom being really scared. She didn’t think I knew that she was scared, but I know she was. She had never had any type of surgery before. I had so many surgeries I couldn’t count them all. This was just one more, right?  WRONG!!  I didn’t know that this surgery would give me a life I never knew about!!! Mom was in a hospital next to mine because I was in one just for kids. I remember waking up after the surgery and asking to see her. Neither one of us felt very good, but we needed to see each other! I couldn’t believe it when they showed me where they put mom’s kidney and that it was WORKING!! It was the first time I remember NOT being on dialysis!! I was 7 and starting a NEW LIFE.

As I got better, I found a WHOLE NEW WORLD!! I get to go to NIGHTTIME baseball games, swimming parties and to friends’ homes to spend the night! I play sports!! I get to see sunsets IN PERSON instead of on TV or through my window. And I got to go to Disney World without any tubes or dialysis, and without being so tired and sick!  We went to Disney 3 months after my transplant to celebrate my life—my NEW life!!!  Now I’m a Passion Panel member with Mid-America Transplant Services because I want EVERYONE to know how important transplants are!!  I’m LIVING proof—and I’m LOVING life!!  Thanks Mom!!!

Mid-America Transplant Services Passion Panel members, Josh and Carolyn, attended the 2010 “Life Takes Flight” Rose Bowl Parade. Josh was the 2010 Astellas Ride of a Lifetime award winner. As the winner, Josh was given the opportunity to ride as a member of the Donate Life float. Josh and his mother Carolyn traveled to Pasadena, CA to participate in the float decorating process. Please take a look at their journey.

Rose Bowl Parade-Donate Life Float 2010
Take the next step. Enroll in the organ and tissue donor registry and save lives.Register Today

Comments (0)

Save A Life

Save A Life

One donor can save the lives of up to eight people and improve the lives of over 50 others.

Read More

Share Your Story

Find out how to share your donation story to be featured on our website.

Read More