Great Neck man looking for lifesaving 'angel donor' of kidney
A Long Island man is in need of a lifesaving organ donation.
Brett Ashley's life changed last February when his kidneys went into failure. Ashley, of Great Neck, said he had an infection that went septic.
"I spent several weeks at St. Francis Hospital where they saved my life," he says. "But they couldn't save my kidneys."
Ashley tells News 12 that he has been searching for a kidney donor since March and has been on dialysis since last year. Due to the pandemic, his search has been even more difficult.
"People who might have considered donating, people who might have considered learning more about it, have put those thoughts on the back burner," he says.
Dr. Nicole Ali says deceased kidney donations are currently 9% higher than they were pre-pandemic. But she says living donations, which tend to be healthier and last longer, are still 15% less than before the pandemic.
"Having living donors is really key part of keeping people healthy and getting transplants in," says Dr. Ali.
Dr. Ali says if there is a second wave of the virus, she's confident the hospitals will have safe pathways for their patients and donors during the transplant process.
Ashley says he feels optimistic, though he's not sure if he would have gotten a donor already if it wasn't for the pandemic.
"I just feel putting in the effort and energy to try and find an angel donor is worth all of the effort," he says.
To find out how to become an organ donor or to get more information, click here.