Posted 2/09/16 (Tue)
By Kevin Killough
Ryan Davidson has a new lease on life thanks to the generosity of his mother.
“Everybody’s mom gives them the gift of life once. My mom gave me the gift of life twice,” Davidson said.
About six months ago, Davidson was put on the transplant list for a new kidney. He said for a long time he was hoping he’d get better and wouldn’t need it.
“There was some denial at that point,” he said.
As soon as she could, Davidson’s mother, Holly Wheeler, got tested to see if she was a match. As soon as the doctors determined she was, she donated her own kidney.
“I didn’t give it a second thought,” Wheeler said.
Without a new kidney, Davidson would have faced dialysis treatments. This would have required trips to Williston three times per week, with each treatment lasting four hours.
And there would have been other inconveniences, such as limiting himself to a 20-ounce bottle of water between treatments.
And the outcomes of dialysis are not as good as a transplant. It’s quite possible his health would have declined the longer he had to wait for a transplant.
Davidson, a full-time farmer, said he doesn’t think dialysis would have stopped him from farming.
“I probably could have done it for a while,” he said.
The statement is probably optimistic considering the labor-intensive work of farming, but it didn’t come to that, fortunately.
Davidson said, on average, people on the list wait five years.
“I waited six months,” he said.
With the worry of the surgery behind him, he said he feels like a huge weight is lifted off his shoulders. He’s made a great recovery since the transplant. He goes for checkups with doctors twice a week.
“They’re just amazed at how well I’m doing,” he said.
He said his wife still needs to warn him sometimes about doing too much lifting.
He expresses a lot of gratitude towards his mother for his health, “She’s my hero.”