POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Dundee family is on the search for a living kidney donor after a summer of suffering following a bout with COVID-19.
“Looking for a transplant, living donor. B positive [blood type],” said Christopher Paige, a father of three.
He said he was an otherwise healthy 35-year old when he came down with coronavirus while traveling for work.
“Transporting food as an essential worker,” the truck driver instructor said. “We were headed to California. I was an instructor so I was training somebody else.”
In late June, Paige started feeling sluggish and checked himself into Winter Haven Hospital where he got the diagnosis, he said.
“I couldn’t breathe for one. I was on an oxygen machine,” he said.
Then Paige’s kidney started to fail. After spending weeks in the hospital, Paige said he now gets dialysis treatment three times a week, for 3.5 hours per session, and is now waiting for a kidney transplant.
According to the American Society of Nephrology, up to 50% of all severe COVID-19 ICU patients have kidney failure that requires dialysis.
Studies show acute kidney injury can also make in-hospital COVID-19 more deadly.
A CNBC report shows many patients with kidney failure have had no underlying health or kidney issues prior to contracting the coronavirus.
“You should be aware because you never know what can happen,” said Paige. “Do what’s necessary. Do what people are telling you to as far as washing your hands, wearing your mask, not being around people in large groups.”
While Paige was in the hospital, he found out his whole family had tested positive: his girlfriend, Paola Rosario, and their three children, Axel, a newborn, Christopher Jr., 2, and Ariela, 6.
“That’s what really tore me apart when I was in there. I was already scared to bring it to them and to find out that they already had it and knowing what it done to me and we had a newborn at the time,” said Paige.
“It’s just changed our lives completely. So if somebody comes forward and is willing to go through the process of the kidney donor, it’ll mean the world to me, to him and the kids,” said Rosario.
To learn how you can find out if you are a match for Paige you can visit his website.
If you are a match, you can submit your information and Paige’s birthday, which can be found on the Kidney 4 Chris Paige website.