“He takes care of everyone, be it his family, his football team or the kids at his school. So it was nice to take care of him. “
INDIANAPOLIS – Jorge Berri is the father and coach who takes care of everyone in the first place, but this time someone else was taking care of him – his daughter.
“My life has been extended, and it’s all thanks to my daughter,” Jorge said.
It started back in 2018 when the Berry family went to Disney World. Jorge had no energy and couldn’t keep up with everyone. When he returned home, he was diagnosed with stage 2 renal failure and started dialysis.
Jorge is a football coach and teacher at Marion High School. He underwent evening dialysis and was awake the next day to teach, which became extremely difficult.
Jorge’s condition worsened in late 2020 when he was diagnosed with stage 4 renal failure.
In September 2020, Jorge became eligible for a transplant, so his daughter Jurdin from New York started thinking about becoming a boyfriend.
“Naturally, I try to look after my father, I just check him from time to time. So it was hard to see him go through it, and, you know, to be at home only on vacation or in the summer from time to time was difficult, ”said Jurdin Berry.
So she contacted the transplant team at Ascension Saint Vincent and remotely performed blood and urine tests.
“I didn’t even ask my father’s permission, I just said:“ Hey, send me the link, ”Zhurdin said.
In February, Jurdin flew to Indianapolis for an examination, and the transplant team underwent another round of trials.
“I think people immediately think that they are being tested for compliance, but the transplant team is really focused on making sure you yourself are healthy if you decide to make a donation,” Zhurdin said.
In March, she was officially allowed to donate a kidney to her father. Even if she didn’t fit, she still planned to donate a kidney.
“I would do it over and over again. I would donate my second kidney if I didn’t need it, ”Zhurdin said.
On May 24, Jurdin’s kidney was successfully transplanted to her father and they are both recovering.
“He takes care of everyone, be it his family, his football team or the kids at his school. So it was nice to look after him, – said Zhurdin.
According to UNOS, 93,000 people on the kidney transplant list are awaiting a donor. Most people wait for a kidney for about four years, and some even longer.
Dr. Islam Goneim, a transplant surgeon at Ascension Saint Vincent, said the number of kidney donors dropped during the pandemic, making donation even more important.
“Living donation is alive and well, even though there are problems with the pandemic, it is still something that is actively going on and you are not only helping the recipient get your kidney, but you are also saving the kidney in the pool of deceased donors that can go to someone else, ”said Dr. Goneim.
Even if you are not the right match for a relative, you can still donate to a stranger and your relative will receive a voucher that will move them up the list.
“I often think about how lucky I am to be able to donate to my father, because so many people are waiting for treatment every day, and so many people are waiting for the saving match. So get tested, research and study, ”Zhurdin said.
In the next few weeks, Jorge hopes to get approval to start coaching and teaching again at Marion High School. He also has big plans to visit his daughter in New York for the first time after having been unable to travel for the past three years due to his dialysis schedule and a desire to stay put.
“He just missed so much, not only in his life, but also in mine,” Zhurdin said.
You can find more information on how to become a living donor at Ascension St. Vincent here.