Mr. Serge Ozerov, a parishioner of the Orthodox Church in America, suffered kidney failure in August 1999.
While Serge has been undergoing dialysis since that time, he has been placed on a waiting list for a new kidney. To date, no match has been found.
“About 50,000 individuals are on waiting lists, and that number is expected to double within the decade,” according to Serge’s mother, Sophie. “Most of those people must endure years of dialysis, spending four hours three times a week at a clinic or hospital where needles are inserted into an arm or leg to drain their blood, clean it and return it to the body. The periodic buildup of toxins in the blood and the stress of dialysis are debilitating over time, and between 5 and 10 percent of people undergoing dialysis die each year.”
With the wait for a kidney transplant stretching to six years or more, doctors are increasingly advising patients, including Serge, to seek living donors.
“The donor does not face a long stay in the hospital, and the operation can now be done laparoscopically, requiring a stay of no more than three days,” Mrs. Ozerov adds. “Transplant centers are extremely careful in checking potential donors’ medical condition, and living with a single kidney is no problem in itself - some five percent of the population is born with only one kidney.”
Because of their age, Serge’s parents could not serve as donors.
“It is our fervent hope that a living donor can be found to allow our son to live a normal life with his family,” Mrs. Ozerov says. “Hence, we appeal to the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America, hoping that a living donor might be found.”