DANVILLE — Fifteen years after losing part of his leg in a motorcycle accident and now having a prosthesis, 49-year-old Harold Bradley is facing another critical health challenge.
He’s needing a kidney transplant.
Bradley was diagnosed with lupus in 2000. He said a lot of his symptoms were manageable up until about 2018. At first he had small joint pain and muscle problems.
He’s been on dialysis, and was diagnosed with peritonitis.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, “peritonitis is inflammation of the peritoneum, the inside lining of your own belly that acts as a natural filter. In peritoneal dialysis, waste products are removed through the peritoneum with a cleansing fluid called dialysate, which is washed in and out of your abdominal cavity (belly) in cycles. The peritoneum has fluid and covers the organs within your belly area to protect and support them.”
“I’m in... kidney failure,” Bradley said.
Getting placed on a national donor transplant waiting list, could mean a wait of five to seven years, he said.
He’s on the list at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
The Organ Transplant Center at Northwestern Medicine is the longest continual provider of organ transplantation in Chicago. Its physicians have performed around 5,000 kidney transplants since the program’s inception in 1964, and 232 kidney transplants in 2017.
A kidney from a living donor often works sooner than a kidney from a deceased person, and typically lasts longer, according to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Bradley’s sister has been tested, and he’s also waiting to see if a cousin could be a donor. His cousin undergoes initial testing next month.
“I don’t know if he’s a match yet,” Bradley said.
Blood typing is the first blood test that will determine if someone’s blood is a compatible match with the potential donor’s blood. This test measures blood antibodies that react with different blood groups.
If the donor’s blood type works with the person’s blood type, the donor will take the next blood test, tissue typing, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
In the meantime, Bradley recently got back from a first-time trip to Disney World in Florida, because his children and grandchildren had long wanted to go.
Bradley, who moved to Danville about six years ago from Chicago, is a carpenter by trade, and helps out at his son’s business Diamon Tires on East Main Street. Diamon is his son’s name.
The automotive business has been open about a year.
“I don’t know where I get the energy and steam...,” he said.
“I want to be around,” he said about being with his two sons.