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B.C. dad in urgent need of donor as kidney nears failing point

With less than 5% kidney function, David Jung desperately needs Type O donor
Surrey’s David Jung, shown here with his children, is hoping for a Type O kidney donor, as he currently has less than five per cent kidney function and urgently needs a transplant. (Contributed photo)

A Clayton couple is hoping to find someone out there who is a match for a needed kidney – before it’s too late.

Carla Jung has been posting about the urgency of her husband, David’s, need for a donor on social media recently, now that he has less than five per cent kidney function.

“My husband is a really reserved, private man… this is something we wouldn’t usually do, but we’re at the point where if he doesn’t get one soon, he likely won’t be healthy enough to have (a transplant),” Carla, who goes by Carla Nicholls Jung on Facebook, said Sunday (Jan. 7).

“It’s something we want to get out there now – we’ve got two small children, so that makes things scary.”

Their kids are now 10 and five, and she and David celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary last year, albeit, not how they had planned.

They had known David’s kidney function was lower, Carla recalled, so he was referred to a kidney specialist and had some tests done during the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO: Popcorn event at Peace Arch Hospital thanks organ donation, transplant staff

“They did a biopsy and the results came back and he was at about 50 per cent (kidney function) but because of COVID it ended up on a desk and was missed,” she said.

By May of 2022, her husband was planning to attend a big conference in Paris with his work, a pharmaceutical company, where he would be speaking.

“He was so excited! We went and bought him a new suit… I said, ‘If you’re missing our 10-year wedding anniversary, you’re doing your bloodwork before you go,’” Carla remembered, noting that he had been quite tired, but “he’s also one of those people who works really, really hard.”

Within 12 hours of getting David’s bloodwork done, their family doctor called and told David he needed to go to emergency immediately.

“We found out on our 10th wedding anniversary that his kidney function was, I think, at 11 per cent then, and he was told that he would need a kidney transplant and he would need to start dialysis or he would die,” she said.

Because his health declined so much and so quickly, he had to start emergency dialysis right away.

Now, her husband must do dialysis at night – all night.

“He has a machine that cleans his blood every night. He hooks up at 8:30 and he runs all night, so when the kids get sick at night there’s no one else that can help but me… if he’s hungry or needs anything, or there’s an emergency, he can’t just simply unhook – he has to stay hooked up,” Carla said.

“Now because it’s gotten worse, he has to do dialysis during the day while he’s at work. He’s so tired when he comes home… we’re at the point where I’m thinking are we going to have to sell our house? Are we going to have to make some huge changes?”

Carla emphasized that if David’s kidney function gets even lower, “he won’t be healthy enough to have a transplant, and that means that it’ll be terminal, and that will be it.”

They are hoping a donor will come forward – a Type O donor is ideal, but there’s also a pairing program where other blood types can donate a kidney, Carla noted.

“They’d basically just swap it with one that works for him, and it bumps him up the list… they kind of do a swap.”

If someone is interested in finding out if they’re a match to donate a kidney, they can email and providing David’s transplant ID #24894.

“It’s such a selfless gift to give somebody else,” Carla said, adding that she knows people can often, wait years for a donor, but “David doesn’t have that time to wait.”

“It would really mean the world to my kids… I lost my Dad waiting for a transplant, and anything that we can do to avoid my kids experiencing the same would mean a lot to them and my family and to Dave.”

Tricia Weel

About the Author: Tricia Weel

I’m a lifelong writer, and worked as a journalist in community newspapers for more than a decade, from White Rock to Parksville and Qualicum Beach, to Abbotsford and Surrey, from 2001-2012
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