Fred Bishop's Story
I had a kidney transplant in November 1994. Eight years earlier, at the height of health in my life, I was diagnosed with a renal problem that was supposed to take 20 years or so to deteriorate to the point of transplant. In September 1994, my renal function was around 8 percent. At that point, I was a deputy sheriff with a wife and two children.
The staff at The Nebraska Medical Center did an excellent job laying out my options. My wife and I decided on transplant. We informed our families about our decision and left my medical records open to them. One family member stepped up immediately and researched the problem, along with the possibility of being a donor. Less than two months went by. We were matched and decided on the first available date for surgery. It happened to be Nov. 9, the day between my mother's and father's birthdays. Now they send me a card on that day, my re-birthday. Two lives were saved that day, mine and my father's. You see when he underwent pre-surgery testing, they found an aneurysm on his renal artery. During the transplant, doctors were able to harvest his kidney and take care of the aneurysm. Along with two lives being saved, a third was created. My new kidney cleaned up my system so well that we were finally, after eight years of trying, able to conceive our third child.
I was back on the job 60 days after the transplant, working road patrol division. I am still a deputy sheriff and can perform all of my duties. I have never been on any "light" or "special" duty as a result of our decision to have a transplant. I do have one problem. It's hard to shop for my father on Father's Day or his birthday or whatever. I mean, what am I supposed to get the man who gave me life TWICE?