When Parry Sound native Brandon Thompson’s kidney began to fail in late 2014, he thought he was sick with the flu.
“…I kept thinking it was a bad flu that would pass,” Thompson says in a letter he sent out to various organizations and news outlets. “As time passed it started to get worse I was sick to my stomach most mornings and my energy levels kept dropping.”
As Thompson’s condition worsened, including vision loss, swelling, pallor and more, his friends and family urged him to seek medical attention. Despite warnings from loved ones, Thompson refused to go to the hospital, convinced that the illness would pass.
“I kept thinking each day that I had too much to do at work and didn’t have time to wait at the hospital… Eventually it got to the point where people started insisting I go to the hospital. My friend at the time drove from out of town to take me and I still refused to go.”
That changed when, after a conversation with a friend over his refusal to seek medical attention, Thompson collapsed after trying to walk only eight feet. When he arrived at the hospital, staff immediately knew his condition was far worse than just a nasty flu bug.
“I finally realized things were serious when we walked into the hospital. We were seat for roughly 30 seconds when a nurse walked by and took one look at me and went ‘Wow, have you been seen by anyone? You need to come over here right now.’”
Numerous visits followed and medical staff ultimately diagnosed Thompson with Stage 5 Renal Failure, also known as End Phase Kidney Disease. He was admitted to the hospital for eight days and is now on dialysis treatments for roughly five hours, three times per week. He is on a plethora of prescriptions and his only long-term option for survival is a kidney transplant.
Currently living in Windsor, Ont. the born-and-raised Parry Sounder’s life has changed significantly, taking a turn for the worse but also for the better.
“I have aches and pains in my joints and muscles and it can make even basic movement difficult,” Thompson pens in his letter. “Dialysis eats away at your muscle mass because it’s such an extensive treatment.”
The illness has also changed Thompson’s perspective on life and he says he feels fortunate and humbled by the experience and has started to take better care of himself.
“I have learned to put my health as my number one priority and know that I always will,” he says. “I actually believe in my heart that this has given me a second chance and saved me from the way that I was living before.”
Since his diagnosis, Thompson has been forced to leave his job and is scheduled to soon begin treatment in London, Ont. where he will have to travel on a regular basis. To offset his living and travel costs and in hopes of finding a suitable donor, Thompson’s family and friends have started a gofundme campaign seeking $10,000. As of the time of this printing the campaign has raised more than $4,000 in just seven days.
Those interested in donating can do so at the link above and those wishing to consider organ donation can find more information on the process here.