You’ve heard the old joke, “Father’s Day is a lot like Mother’s Day, only the gifts are less expensive.” A 23-year-old son from Lakewood, Colorado is giving a priceless gift to his dad this Father’s Day. He’s giving him the gift of life.
Don Fulton’s kidney functions failed completely six weeks ago. The 51-year-old now depends on dialysis to stay alive. So Matt Fulton, Don’s son, has promised to donate his kidney to him.
Matt didn’t waste time contacting Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center (PSL) after learning his dad was facing major health issues.
I’d Do Anything to Save Him
“I’d do anything to save him,” Matt told reporters.
Don has suffered for a long time from a disease called Iga Nephropathy.
“I was on dialysis for six years until I got a kidney in 2011,” Don explained.
That 2011 transplant came from a cadaver. It functioned well for Don for seven years, then a leg infection caused his kidney to completely fail about two months ago.
“When the kidney officially failed, that’s when I was really like—we’ve got to get this done,” Matt said.
Not Unusual to Wait Three to Five Years
It is not unusual for people in Colorado to wait three to five years for a kidney unless a live donor volunteers to give one up.
“[Live kidney donation is] preferred to dialysis because it prolongs life … it can even double your survival,” PSL Dr. Vidya Bhandaram said.
Bhandaram is the PSL transplant program medical director. She says transplant surgery on Matt and Don will be performed on June 25. The surgery will be one of nearly 70 performed at PSL each year, according to Bhandaram.
Well, that sure beats a gift card, a tie or a pair of socks. Matt Fulton is expressing how much he loves his father on this Father’s day. He’s giving him a gift of life.