Ed Warkentin is desperately searching for a kidney donor.
His condition is critical, and without one he fears he will die, leaving behind his wife and 16-year-old son with special needs.
Warkentin’s kidneys are now under seven per cent functional. Without functioning kidneys, his body is unable to cleanse his blood.
The 53-year-old has been on dialysis since Jan. 23, 2020.
Three times a week his wife drives him from their home in Oliver so he can spend the day at Penticton Regional Hospital hooked up to a dialysis machine.
He requires 21 hours a week of dialysis, which cleanses his blood and allows him to live.
“I’m on dialysis until I find a new kidney or I die,” said Warkentin.
Since January he has been searching for someone who is willing to donate a kidney and save his life. Warkentin and his wife have a 16-year-old son with special needs and say dialysis has been a gruelling process for their family.
“Life has just been nothing but turmoil for my family since I went into kidney failure,” Warkentin said.
“Right now my son really doesn’t understand what daddy’s going through. His world has just been turned upside down which has put a lot of strain on my wife. We’re all having difficulty trying to cope.
“Getting a new kidney would give me back my life. It would mean the world to my family.”
Warkentin said he would prefer a living donor because he doesn’t want to count on another’s death to save his own life.
“Asking someone to give up a kidney is a big ask, but it’s the situation I’m in,” he said.
Warkentin’s blood type is O negative.
If you want to donate but are not the matching blood type, this isn’t the end.
The Kidney Foundation has created an exchange program where living donors who do not match the recipient of their choice can switch places with those who do.
There are thousands of Canadians currently in need of kidney donation, according to the Kidney Foundation.
Warkentin frequently sees 12 others on dialysis at Penticton Regional Hospital.
With emotion in his voice, Warkentin offered his thanks to anyone considering saving not only his life but possibly more by becoming a kidney donor.
“I can’t articulate the gratitude I’d have for somebody to donate,” he said.
To find out if you can donate a kidney to Warkentin, call Vancouver General Hospital pre-transplant clinic at 1-855-875-5182. For more information on organ donation visit Kidney.ca.