A few years ago, Jody Cadwell started to feel tired. He tried his hardest to keep his fatigue hidden. Finally, despite his efforts, his wife, Pat, noticed and begged him to go to the doctor.
After reviewing his lab results, the doctor sent Jody to the ER. His blood toxin levels were so high his body would soon shut down completely without dialysis.
When the diagnosis of kidney failure was given to him, Jody’s breath was knocked out of him. His mother had suffered from the same condition, and he felt he was living her ordeal all over again. Doctors were using the words “dialysis,” “kidney transplant,” and “unknown future.”
A very nearby donor
Jody knew from researching the disease that there was only a 1-in-100,000 chance that his wife would be a match.
Despite such slim odds, Pat was the ideal donor. The couple was relieved and scheduled a transplant at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where about 100 transplants are performed each year.
“I woke up feeling fantastic,” said Jody. “I wanted my iPad so I could start letting people know how well it went.”
Jody and Pat soon returned to work at their amusement parks in Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks.
“I work as much as I want and feel great,” said Pat.