Heights man receives long-awaited kidney

Photo courtesy of Mohamad Haidar. Dearborn Heights resident Mohamad Haidar waits to be tested as a match for a new kidney on March 16 at the University of Toledo Medical Center after a seven-year battle with Alport Syndrome.

Photo courtesy of Mohamad Haidar. Dearborn Heights resident Mohamad Haidar waits to be tested as a match for a new kidney on March 16 at the University of Toledo Medical Center after a seven-year battle with Alport Syndrome.

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — A Dearborn Heights man’s search for a new kidney came to a happy conclusion after seven years of challenges.

Mohamad Haidar, 23, received the call on March 15 from the University of Toledo Medical Center about a potential match. The kidney was made available through a cadaver who was listed as an organ donor.

Haidar made the trip to Toledo to have blood work done the next day, which came back a match after cross matching was done. Later that night the hospital called and told him he would be getting the kidney and scheduled surgery the next day.

“When my family knew it was certain I was going to have surgery, it was very surreal for them that this day finally came,” Haidar said. “It brought tears of joy for them but they were also very anxious about how the surgery would go.”

On March 17, Haidar and his family made the tip back to Toledo for the surgery. Haidar was evaluated by nurses and prepped for surgery. A surgeon then explained the process to him.

“My family and I said a prayer, I kissed them all and I think it’s really when it finally hit them that this was happening because they all started crying,” Haidar said.

After the surgery was completed, the doctor’s told the family that everything had gone well.

The family announced the news on April 12 on their Facebook page dedicated to Haidar.

The post read, “We didn’t announce it when he received it on March 17th because we had to wait to see how his body would react. We ask that you keep him in your prayers, and we thank everyone for doing so over the years.”

Haidar still has to get a checkup every week for a month, then every two weeks, every month and finally every year. He also will be on suppressant medication for the rest of his life and will need to do monthly lab work.

The battle began for Haidar in 2008 when he was diagnosed with Alport Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder which caused both of his kidneys to fail.

His older brother, Rami was was also diagnosed with the same disorder but received a kidney in 2009 and is now healthy.

Just a month later the family got a call about a possible kidney for Haidar. He underwent transplant surgery, but the kidney had to be removed because his body rejected it due to a blood clotting issue.

Haidar was on kidney dialysis for more than seven years, before recently receiving the kidney. Dialysis filters blood to get rid of the toxins in the body, similar to what a kidney does.

Haidar began with peritoneal dialysis at home and had to switch to the more complicated hemodialysis in 2012 due to complications with his catheter.

That same year, Haidar was scheduled to have surgery to replace a catheter in his stomach but received bad news. Doctors told the family Haidar had too much scar tissue in his abdomen which was blocking the passage.This meant that Haidar would have to stay on hemodialysis.

Raeda Haidar, Haidar’s mother, made the decision to move her son from University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit in December 2012, in hopes a kidney donor would be found.

In February 2014, the family received a call that a potential kidney was found. It came with a catch, though; it was a high-risk kidney. With a possibility that only four out of 100 antibodies would match, Haidar decided to have the surgery anyway.

Once the family got to the hospital for surgery they were told the kidney was no longer working.

Through all the challenges Haidar said he stayed positive and optimistic that a possible kidney would become available.

“For the 80,000 other people awaiting a kidney, don’t lose hope and let Mohamad’s hardship be your inspiration,” a Facbook post on his page read.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at znajm@bewickpublications.com.)