Thinking of Losing Weight?

Back in 1980 my weight was about 250 lbs. Over the last 32 years I’ve suffered from a variety of illnesses and I now weigh anywhere from 150 to 155 lbs.

Bowel infarction – January 1980 Felt severe stomach ache. Called my GP who made a house call and diagnosed it as a virus. Told me to get rest, but after several hours and more pain every minute, he instructed me to go to Emerg and Dr. gave me pain killers, but they were ineffective. Sent me home. Still tons of severe pain so went back to hospital. This time was admitted. Had Surgeon take a look at me. Had my stomach pumped. Finally was able to have a BM..it was black. Showed Nurse..she flushed it and made no notes.  Surgeon said he would open me up to see what he could find, but was thinking perhaps it was a leaky appendix. Opened me up and found my large and small bowel were gangrenous. Had to remove 75% combined, but did not have to go into a bag. By the way, before the operation, I was over 250 lbs. previous to this problem, I complained on many occasions to my GP that I was having dizzy spells,and having times where I felt spaced out. [...] continue the story

Angelo: Transplant

To hope, and not be impatient, is really to believe . . .

This has been the mantra for Angelo and his mother Cynthia for the past 2 years. Their patience paid off in August, 2008 when Angelo received a kidney transplant. Because of the transplant, Angelo is now an active, healthy 3-year-old – walking and learning to talk.

Angelo was 2 months old in December, 2005 when he was diagnosed with kidney failure – “Diffuse Mesangeal Sclerosis”. This diagnosis required him to have dialysis for 14 hours each day. Cynthia, who has an older daughter, Camila, played the role of mother and caregiver. She also volunteered to give Angelo what most mothers do only once – another birthday. She volunteered to donate one of her kidneys to Angelo.

Unfortunately, Cynthia’s kidney was not a good match for Angelo. Neither was his aunt’s, nor a kind stranger’s. Three times the family had a date set for Angelo’s transplant from living donors – and three times the transplant was cancelled, hopes dashed.

But Cynthia and Angelo never gave up. “When you have hope, faith and patience, I believe God will give you what you seek,” Cynthia explains.

In August, 2008, everything changed. Cynthia received the call [...] continue the story

From Fear to Life

From Fear to Life is about two sick children who suffer from diabetes and kidney disease and struggle against disease full of hope and love, as well as faith toward the future though life has treated them badly. They differ from the children of the same age by boundless love towards society, kindness and beauty. Even in bad social conditions, they go on creating – which proves that the terrible seconds of fear they felt a few years ago had already been forgotten. But in some way they are also forgotten by us (our society). There exists the problem of medicine and a lot of other social problems in addition. The film aims to throw light upon the problems of children living among us and needing our help. It also illustrates that those children have a right to live and create for being integrated in our society. Their talent and inborn gifts constitute their rights to be a full part of our society.

My Kidney, His Life

In April of 2008, I donated my left kidney to a perfect stranger so that my dad could receive a kidney from yet another stranger. Four donors gave to four people they had never met before in the largest kidney exchange to date in the Midwest. All did it to save their loved ones. This short documentary is a personal story about the fears, concerns and joys experienced throughout the donation process. It’s about having the opportunity to save my father’s life yet having to risk my own to do it. What if something happened to me in surgery? How would my absence affect my eight year-old son? How could I refuse the opportunity to help my father? Viewers are often exposed to the technical aspects of organ donation but rarely experience the added intimate human side. This story takes exposes the mental and emotional journey I went through as a live donor.

Authored by Pierre Kattar & Alexandra Garcia.

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