Former Waveland mayor urging organ donation after latest kidney surgery
WAVELAND, Miss. (WLOX) - Former Waveland Mayor Mike Smith is recovering after his second kidney transplant surgery.
Both life-saving donations have come from family members.
Donating is a sacrifice the former mayor said more people should consider to save lives like his.
Mike Smith was sworn in as Waveland’s mayor in December 2014.
Smith could never imagine less than a year later he’d be in hospital after hospital due to polycystic kidney disease.
It’s a disease passed down from generation to generation.
Smith’s mom suffered and went through dialysis for nearly a decade before it killed her.
“The only way to stop it is to stop having kids and we, unfortunately, all learned that later in life,” Smith said.
After more than a year of searching, testing and praying for a perfect donor for a new kidney, Smith said his sister answered the call and turned out to be a perfect match.
“I call her my hero now because that’s my new lease on life and I feel incredible because of it,” Smith said.
However, his health deteriorated after the first transplant.
Unfortunately, over time, the kidney reacted negatively to the anti-rejection medication that was supposed to help him and he needed another kidney.
Another hero in his life, his wife Melanie, just donated the second kidney.
“Her and I have been married 44 years. She was a match and she gave it up with not even a second thought and that’s very important to me,” Smith said.
Smith is now living with four kidneys.
He knows other patients may not be as fortunate as him when it comes to such a life-saving sacrifice, but he urges others to consider being a hero to someone in need.
“I feel like I’m a living testament to how much it really means to a person that’s going through kidney failure. I think people need to be aware of polycystic kidney disease and what it leads to,” he said.
Smith and his wife hope to be released from the hospital on Wednesday.
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