“Oh God!” Kate, who just walked into the room, gasped.
Anthony handled it pretty well under the circumstances; his face devoid of any emotion, but his eyes were red. “I need a transplant?”
“There’s no other choice,” Dr. Livingston answered. “And it has to be done within the next three months. You have ESRD or End State Renal Disease Mr. Okafor, so we need to make haste about a treatment plan.”
Nadia didn’t know how she stayed calm. She wanted to do many things: throw herself at Anthony and cry, bang her head against the wall, ask God why life was so unfair but was a picture of calm and resilience. “What is the next possible thing to do?” she asked the doctor.
“Of course, we’ll start hemodialysis immediately, but start looking for possible donors. I’ll put his name in the registry but also test family members to see if we’ll find a match.”
“Oh my God, Anthony!” Kate rushed to his bedside. “I’m sorry…so sorry…” she started sobbing uncontrollably. “You’re too young for this…why now?”
“It’s OK sis, I’ll be fine.”
“I have to call mom and dad and tell them…”
“No!” he said. “Don’t do any such thing. All you’ll do is get them worried. I want to keep this as private as possible.”
“I don’t know how possible that will be considering that we have to ask willing donors to be tested.” Dr. Livingston stated.
“I want to be tested right away.” Nadia volunteered. “Kate, how about you?”
The other lady nodded, still at a loss for words.
“Can I see you in my office for a moment?” this from Dr. Livingston to Nadia. “Anthony, I’ll be back to check on you momentarily.”
Anthony looked at Nadia. “OK,”
“It’s not looking really good Nadia, but there’s still a lot of time to correct things, so I won’t mince words.” The doctor said to Nadia in his office. “We have to act fast to find a match. So I’m going to task you with rallying those who you think might want to donate a kidney. It’s not an easy decision by any means. Do you know anything about the disease?”
She shook her head. “Only a little bit. You never think something like this would happen to your loved one.”
“Certainly. Well, obviously it negatively affects the body because the kidney is unable to effectively remove excess waste and water, its primary functions. High blood pressure is a contributing factor, and Mr. Okafor has had that for two years.”
“I didn’t even know he had high blood pressure.”
“That’s an easily manageable illness so there’s no alarm. I have to have a list of possible recipients in two days’ time, I will give you a number and they can also call the hospital directly to book an appointment to come get themselves tested.” His voice softened as he watched Nadia’s face and the emotions she was battling. “He’ll be all right Ms. Gardner, Mr. Okafor is a strong man. We can only pray and act fast and hope to get a match soon.”