After spending five years on the transplant waitlist for a kidney, Victoria resident Eric James is now turning to social media to issue a plea for a donor.
Sitting in a coffee shop, he appears to be in good health and wellness.
But he’s not.
“I now have stage one congestive heart failure as a result of my being on dialysis,” James said.
For the past five years, three times a week, James heads to the dialysis unit at Royal Jubilee Hospital and checks in at 6 p.m for an overnight stay.
But so much time on the machine that is saving his life, is also costing him his health.
“I kind of feel like I’ve come to the end of my line here, in this round of dialysis,” James said. “That’s what prompted me to put that post out there. Sort of an act of desperation as my health continues to deteriorate, and become more serious.”
On Monday morning, James posted a plea for help to social media.
“Each run is draining more and more of what life I have in me in an effort to keep going each day and it is all starting to catch up to me. I need a kidney transplant,” he wrote.
I need a kidney transplant. I've been on dialysis for coming up on 5 years now and it is all starting to catch up to me. Please take some time to read this and share if you know anyone who would be interested. #Victoria #VictoriaBC #YYJ #YYJpoli pic.twitter.com/TQM7FG8tNQ
— Eric James (@ejamesYYJ) November 21, 2022
“When you are able to have a personal story with someone’s name, someone’s face, that’s when people say, ‘I want to donate. I want to give it,'” James said.
For James, kidney disease is personal. His brother Ryan received a kidney five years ago from their step-mother, Robin who was a living-donor.
James’ mother, grandmother, and great-grandfather also died as a result of kidney disease.
Now he’s hoping that a living donor will see his story.
“You can live a healthy life with just one. People who are healthy, and willing to come forward today, can actually affect someone’s life,” James said.
He says the procedure is much less invasive than in the past, and recovery is several months.
By posting to social media he hopes it may help others on the wait list.
“I’m hoping that if 50 or 20 people come forward and say that they are interested. It’s not just me that they are thinking about in this. That they’ll continue on with the process,” James said.
For information on transplants in British Columbia go to: http://www.transplant.bc.ca/