One year ago today a Facebook friend, Ricky Cisco, now 26, of Royal Oak donated a kidney to Roxy Kurze’s husband Jeff. The transplant surgery took place at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.
|(Left to Right) Ricky, Roxy and Jeff in New York City.|
With the prospect of a three to five-year wait for a kidney for Jeff, Roxy of Warren turned to Facebook. Much to the couple’s surprise Ricky replied to Roxy’s post, expressing interest in being a donor.
The story, dubbed the “Facebook kidney ,” received worldwide media attention.
Jeff says goodbye to dialysis and hello to ice cream
On the anniversary of Jeff’s kidney transplant , he says, “One year has flown by. Thankfully there are no rejection issues, my doctors are very pleased. I’m back to work full-time.”
No more dialysis.
“I’m no longer fatigued. I’ve got energy. I feel awesome!”
Before the transplant procedure, Jeff would undergo dialysis three times a week for about 5 hours each session.
He can eat almost anything. Jeff, now 36, explains, “Before my transplant, I’d have to be careful of what I ate. I had to limit my dairy products. And I love ice cream.”
He’s got more freedom to travel too. Roxy, Jeff and Ricky recently travelled to New York City.
“Roxy and I want to start a family. Now we’re ready. I’ve got the energy to care for children.”
“I’m forever grateful to Ricky for giving me his kidney and I’m also thankful for Roxy’s Facebook post and tireless support. And then there’s the kidney transplant team at Beaumont , I can’t thank them enough. They saved my life. My Beaumont experience was a 10.”
Advice for others considering an organ transplant? Jeff says, “Do your research. And get it done, don’t wait. Regarding risks, I’m convinced there are more risks waiting to have the surgery.”
Roxy notices positive changes in husband
“Since the transplant, Jeff’s demeanor has changed. He’s more positive and confident. He’s energetic and happier. Jeff wants to do everything- travel, hang out with family and eat. We love food so much.”
Ricky’s extended family is growing
“It’s been quite a year. The what-ifs have become reality. I never imagined giving a kidney to a guy I barely knew would connect me to so many people.”
“At first, I had my fears about donating a kidney, but the Beaumont staff put me at ease. Now after my and Jeff’s surgeries, I take more calculated risks.”
Because they removed his kidney using minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques, Ricky couldn’t believe how fast he healed. He recalls, “Two days after I was home from the hospital, I was cruising the aisles of Costco in an Amigo.”
Three months after his surgery, he went skydiving.
Since the procedure, he’s been getting e-mail from people around the world. A lot from Europe and South America. He explains, “I encourage everyone to consider becoming an organ donor. In fact, April is National Donate Life Month .”
He sums up his experience, “There have been no down sides to giving Jeff a kidney. In fact, I’ve grown closer to Jeff and Roxy. My extended family is growing. And it’s cool that they’re talking about children.”
Catching Up With Ricky and Jeff