Kidney transplant donor and recipient doing great
September 15, 2017
Living kidney donor Scott La Point, and the recipient of his kidney, Niwotian Jim Eastman, are both ecstatic to report they’re doing “really well” 10 weeks post-surgery. Given that he’s already riding his bike for distances up to 60 miles, and this past weekend he took on the Pike’s Peak Challenge Summit Hike last weekend, to say La Point is doing really well is an understatement.
Kidney recipient Jim Eastman has completed the Pike’s Peak Challenge five times in the past and said he’d love to do it again. Although it’s a little soon for Eastman to be able to participate in that event, Eastman said his recovery is going so well he completed a 12-mile bike ride from Niwot, around the Boulder Reservoir and back home. This week he was given the go-ahead to start physical therapy. “In the last few days,” Eastman said, “I have felt like I’m over the hump.”
La Point’s conquering of the Pike’s Peak Challenge entailed a nearly six-hour, 13-mile, 7,500-foot ascent to reach the summit at 14,115 feet. This epic annual event has been in existence for over 30 years and is the leading fundraising venue for the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado. What a perfect way for a survivor of a traumatic brain injury and an athlete to give to others. So brain-injury survivor La Point, who’s known for his sports stamina and his can-do attitude, jumped in and raised over $1300.
In addition, La Point wanted his efforts to go toward raising money for the Donor Alliance of Colorado. Donor Alliance (www.donoralliance.org) educates and inspires others to give organs and tissues to those in need. He raised another $75 for that organization.
La Point’s experience as a living kidney donor had such a positive impact on his life that he decided to become a mentor and an educator for others contemplating the same kindness. To that end, he signed up with the 1+1 LIFE Mentorship Program, offered through the American Transplant Foundation. The mentorship program is a free service that is available to transplant recipients, living organ donors and their loved ones or caregivers. Living donors are paired with a mentor who can speak first-hand about their donation experience, discuss any concerns and explain the process.
“I was treated like a king at UCHealth, better than at home,” La Point said.For him, the hardest part was being instructed post-surgery not to ride his bike for a couple of weeks. And every once in awhile, he said, “I have a pain in my gut like I’ve eaten too much.”
Overall, he’s feeling grea. Knowing that he helped Eastman be healthier and live longer, La Point said about his kidney donation, “It’s just not that hard of a deal. It’s been a great ride. Donating a kidney doesn’t end your life, it gives you life.”