On the evening of May 12, 2009, I passed out in my bathroom and hit the tile floor. Symptoms of extreme exhaustion, a weird taste in my mouth, restless legs and stabbing heartburn had progressively intensified over the previous three months. But I didn’t tell anyone: shame on me, right? While lying on that bathroom floor, a voice inside told me it was time to get help. The next morning, I went to the closest urgent care for tests.
As I lay in bed a few days later, I got the news no one wants to hear. “Troy, we got your test results back and I’m afraid your kidneys have stopped working,” the doctor said. “A kidney specialist is admitting you to the hospital and you will need to start dialysis today to remove the toxins from your body. If you wait too long to come to the hospital, it will be too late.” When I arrived at the hospital that day, I was so near death that the doctors told me I should have been in a coma.
Almost six months after I started feeling my first symptoms, I was diagnosed with kidney disease. On April 5, 2010 I was listed for a life-saving a transplant – my body was failing. Instead of being nervous or upset during my wait on the transplant list, my faith brought me comfort. I felt relief and at peace with God. I heard God tell me, “Troy, you are going to be okay; we will get through this.” I knew God wouldn’t give me more than I could handle – now that is faith! My miracle, a kidney transplant, finally came on December 9, 2012. At the age of 29, I received the Gift of Life. My surgeon at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center told me that I had the best kidney on the transplant floor!
Since my transplant, my health has dramatically improved. I’m able to walk without losing my breath, sleep through the night and return to work. Without support of my friends, family, God, and the gift of my donor, I don’t think I would be as strong, healthy and full of life as I am today. I want to specifically thank my donor family because even if we never have the opportunity to meet, their loved one’s choice to be an organ donor saved my life. I know that I will cherish my Gift of Life forever and I faithfully promise to take very good care of it.
Every major U.S. religion supports donation and my faith helps me always honor my donor. I strongly encourage everyone to become a registered organ, eye, and tissue donor. Save the life of someone like me and say yes to organ donation! I am a registered organ donor and I’m darn proud of it!