A local man is grateful for a new lease on life that he has received since an organ transplant earlier this year.
Kevin Toombs was only born with one kidney and it was located in the front of his stomach. After being healthy for most of his life, Kevin spent the last 12 years as a patient of the chronic kidney disease program in Regina.
In a write-up, Kevin said Dr. Bonnie Richardson and her team did their very best to keep him off of dialysis but in September 2019, Kevin's kidney was no longer working on its own.
Kevin started peritoneal dialysis in October 2019. He then experienced added complications where the dialysis still could not release the toxins in his body, so Kevin's legs and arms would jump 24 hours a day. He went over a year without proper sleep and nutrition, and eventually he became restricted to home, completing nine hours of dialysis a day.
Then COVID-19 hit the entire world and his family had to keep their distance due to his compromised immune system.
Kevin’s sister Tammy came forward to donate a kidney, then his brother in law Jerry Mossing from Cochrane, Alta., tried as well, but both were unsuccessful due to medical conditions they found during the screening process.
This turned out to be a blessing in itself. One of the doctors said that instead of Tammy and Jerry trying to save Kevin’s life, by having these tests done, he saved their lives. Then Kevin’s wife Kim was going to try to donate, but once he got on the kidney transplant list, the call finally came, they had found a donor match for Kevin.
On Feb. 25, Kevin had a successful kidney transplant at St. Paul's Hospital in Saskatoon. He spent two weeks in the hospital due to some complications but the dedicated doctors and nurses of the transplant team made it possible for Kevin to return home.
Kevin and Kim were honoured to have met Rhonda and Curtis Fuluche from Fishing Lake. Rhonda received the other kidney from the deceased donor. Kevin has stayed in touch with Rhonda through their journey together, going over their numbers, sharing gifts from one another or just sending a text wondering how things are going.
July 27 was the family’s day to celebrate Kevin's new journey in life. Kevin's sister Lena and brother-in-law Jerry had special t-shirts made for this family photo. Rhonda wanted to be here this weekend to celebrate with everyone but was unable to attend due to prior commitments.
Kevin would like to thank all his family, friends, neighbours and co-workers for all their love, support and kind wishes. It definitely got Kevin through the tough days. Special thanks to His niece Marni and Cintia who live in Saskatoon for all their help looking after Kim and the special care packages they kept dropping off at the hospital.
Kevin would also like to thank his wife Kim who was by his side for the entire two weeks, taking care of his every need. It meant a lot to have her up there with him.
Kevin plans on returning to work at Westmoreland Coal Company in September and looks forward to getting back to a normal life with his wife Kim and son Jesse.
Kevin's family urges people to consider adding their names to the Saskatchewan Organ and Tissue Donor Registry, because donors save lives.