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|3/2/2013 ||Email this article Print this article |
Friends rally around Wheatland man battling life-long kidney condition
|Patterson benefit slated March 9|
| A benefit for life-long Wheatland resident Dave Patterson will be held Saturday, March 9, at Wheatland Community Hall.|
Patterson is in need of a kidney transplant. He has been taken off the recipient list as his health has declined drastically and his heart is not functioning at a sufficient rate. Patterson says he is working to get healthy enough to have his name put back on the list.
In the meantime, his friends have organized an event to help offset substantial medical costs Patterson's family has incurred.
The schedule of events for the benefit begins with a bags tournament, with sign in at 11 a.m. and play will begin promptly at noon.
Bingo will be played 1-4 p.m. and a pie judging contest (pies need to be at the community hall by 5 p.m.).
A pork sandwich supper will be served 5-7 p.m. and a live auction and raffle will begin at 7 p.m.
For questions or to register for the bags tournament, persons may contact Joel Paulsen at 563-370-1065.
By Kate Howes
Dave Patterson of Wheatland was just 6 years old when he was diagnosed with Alport Syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by the complete or almost complete failure of the kidneys.
Patterson's mother was a carrier of the disease, which took the life of her father when he was only 22 years old.
Once a year until he was 18, Patterson underwent kidney function studies so doctors could track the progression of the disorder.
By the time he was 33, Patterson was out of time, out of options and in need of a transplant.
Fortunately, a donor was found, the procedure was routine and went off without any complications. Patterson was told his new kidney would last approximately seven years.
His lasted over twice that long - 17 years.
"That was pretty good," Patterson relates. "The kidney came from a 55-year-old female, which means by the time it wore out, it was 72 years old. I'd always known I would need to have another transplant; it was always stuck in the back of my mind that eventually, things were going to need to change."
That time came two and a half years ago. Patterson's name was put on the donor list, but this time around things did not go as smoothly for the 52-year-old.
Most likely due to the anti-rejection medications Patterson had been taking for the past 17 years, his heart health has deteriorated. As a result, Patterson's name has been removed from the list.
"My heart function has gone down to 25 percent," he explains. "To be accepted back on the donor list, it has to function at 35 percent."
Patterson had both a pacemaker and a defibrillator inserted into his chest and has been taking medication to try to strengthen his heart muscles. He also has been exercising at the Calamus-Wheatland Activity Center next door to the high school in order to get in good physical condition.
However, Patterson says, there are no guarantees.
In the meantime, he undergoes dialysis every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Genesis East in Davenport.
The dialysis process is far longer than most would imagine and Patterson says while it's necessary to prolong his life, the procedure ends up taking up six hours of his day and by the time he returns home, he has no energy to do anything.
Since his health took a turn for the worse, Patterson has had to quit his job and live on Social Security disability.
Yet, medical bills continue to accumulate. Hoping they can help, Patterson's friends have organized a benefit scheduled for March 9 at the Wheatland Community Center to help offset the cost of his medical care.
Those who know and care about Patterson hope not only to lend their financial support, but their emotional support as well.
It's a gesture for which Patterson is extremely grateful.
"I didn't have to ask for any help," he says. "It came to me, and I wasn't about to turn it down."
Patterson's quality of life has changed considerably over the past couple of years. One activity he misses most is golfing.
For two years in a row, Patterson was the bronze medalist in golf at the U.S. Transplant Games.
While he is anxious to swing a club again and dealing with his failing health has been difficult, Patterson says he is thankful to the entire community for all they have done for him and his family.
Members of his church, St. Paul's United Church of Christ, have a sign-up list of those who are willing to give Patterson rides to dialysis. He also appreciates how supportive the staff at Genesis East has been in his quest to become healthy again.
"It's really been a day-to-day process for me," Patterson shares. "You don't know what the next day will bring. Recently I got the respiratory flu and ended up in the hospital for two days. My resistance is very low. I just try to take it one day at a time and whatever the good Lord hands me, I just try to deal with it."
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