ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Mom, son recovering nicely following kidney transplant

As surgeries go, a kidney removal last week went pretty well, according Sheri Dornbusch. She is the mother who passed all the tests in December, clearing her to donate one of her kidneys to her son, Justin, whose organs were not working well at a...

Transplant
Beth Campbell, RN, left, was one of several nurses who cared for Sheri Dornbusch, center, and her son, Justin, right, following surgery to remove one of Sheri’s kidneys and transplant it into Justin. Debbie Irmen/FOCUS

As surgeries go, a kidney removal last week went pretty well, according Sheri Dornbusch.

She is the mother who passed all the tests in December, clearing her to donate one of her kidneys to her son, Justin, whose organs were not working well at all, she said.

“I’ve got a small incision and four probe holes,” Dornbusch said Friday, five days after having her left kidney removed. She was in surgery about two hours. “The probe holes are kind of tender, but recovery wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I’m stiff and sore, but not in pain.”

As for Justin, the donor recipient, whose kidneys were in failure, he is doing great, she said. His surgery took about two and a half to three hours.

“It was textbook surgery, according to the doctors,” Dornbusch said. “And when they put the kidney in Justin, it started outputting right away.

ADVERTISEMENT

Blood tests to determine his kidney function and protein levels prior to the transplant, had been high for the past year when he was diagnosed with full kidney failure and he was doing dialysis at home. But even after a dialysis session, his numbers remained high. Following the transplant, it fell while he was still in recovery, and by evening it had fallen further, Dornbusch said. By Thursday, it was well within the normal range indicating the transplanted kidney was doing its job properly.

“Doctors were really happy,” she said of the drop in numbers. “They expected it to drop, but not that quickly.”

Dornbusch and her son were in the same recovery room together, which put the mother of five at peace, she said.

“He always looked tired before because his body was full of toxins,” she said. “Now you can see his color is good, he has more energy. His color is normal, he is just looking so much better.”

As the new kidney works to remove the toxins from his body, he has put out a “ton of urine,” Dornbusch said, but that is what it should be doing.

The next couple months will be rather rocky, she said, as doctors try to find the correct balance of medications for his body. Right now he is taking a lot of pills, she said, but as doctors find the combination that works best for Justin, he will be weaned off some of the drugs.

She expected to return to Perham sometime this week; she had a post-surgical follow-up appointment last Monday and then she said she was ready to come home to recuperate.

The whole donation experience was good, she said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I would do it again in a heartbeat,” Dornbusch said. “It’s rewarding to see Justin getting to start his life over.”

What To Read Next
Mike Clemens, a farmer from Wimbledon, North Dakota, was literally (and figuratively) “blown away,” when his equipment shed collapsed under a snow load.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission met on Jan. 5, 2023, to consider the application for Summit Carbon Solutions.
Qualified Minnesota farmers will receive dollar-for-dollar matching money to purchase farmland.
Wanda Patsche, new Farm Camp director, has farmed with her husband near I-90 in southern Minnesota since the 1970s and shares her passion for farming on her blog.