Transplant leads to revitalized life

It may seem like a strange thing to celebrate, but former Barriere resident Dave Kozoris is thrilled he can pee again

Dave Kororis (l) and Tracey Louvros toast a friendship that has been literally life-saving. In a domino day in May at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver

Dave Kororis (l) and Tracey Louvros toast a friendship that has been literally life-saving. In a domino day in May at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver

It may seem  like a strange thing to celebrate, but former Barriere resident Dave Kozoris is thrilled he can pee again.

If you went 18 months without that ability, you’d likely be happy, too.

Dave’s got his neighbour, Tracey Louvros, to thank for this reality.

The Brocklehurst residents were part of six people involved in three kidney donation and transplant operations in May, the culmination of many months of tests and lab work and more tests to determine compatibility.

Tracey had planned to give her kidney to Dave; when that was impossible, her potential donation went into a pool that, in the end, led to a kind of domino day at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver that resulted in three people getting another chance at life and three others minus one kidney but happy they could help.

For Dave, the surgery was essential because, due to a disease that meant the organs kept filling with tumours, he spent 18 months with no kidneys, dependent on daily dialysis.

Now?

“There’s not been a day of trouble with the kidney,” Dave said.

“It’s interesting to pee again.”

He has trouble with prolonged walking, a result of some blockages in the arteries of his leg, but he is delighted to be down from 17 pills a day to just five.

“And, the biggest thing is no diet. I can eat what I want.”

Tracey is also doing fine, although she said the first several days after the surgery were tough due to the pain.

She’s also got four scars from the operation – three on one side and one simllar to that left from a caesarean section “where they took the kidney out.”

After about five weeks recovering from the operation, Tracey said she was back at work “and all is good.”

She can’t take ibuprofen anymore because of the impact it has on the kidneys – or, in her case, the remaining kidney.

“But, I’m functioning as normal,” Tracey said. “You just live through the experience.”

She has no regrets, other than the initial disappointment her neighbour didn’t get her kidney, but said she’s glad she could help someone.

As for Dave, he met his donor, something that’s not supposed to happen.

“But,” he said, “there was a woman at the hospital who wanted to donate to her husband, but she wasn’t a match.

“Somehow, she figured it out and she stopped in to say hi.

“And, she gave me a wonderful kidney.”

– Dale Bass/Kamloops This Week