HOUSTON – Kareem Atkins, Juqaim Barthen and Darryl Garrett were working off-duty security jobs last Saturday when they were ambushed.
The family tells KPRC 2 that Deputy Garrett will need a kidney transplant.
According to UTMB Dr. Muhammad Mujtaba, Medical Director of UTMB Kidney Transplantation, his best chance at getting one and getting back to normal life quickly is through a living donor.
“In terms of the outcomes, living donors are the best options,” Mujtaba said.
Some of the qualifications you need to meet to be a living donor:
- No diabetes
- No high blood pressure
- No kidney disease or damage
- Must be the same blood type
- Don’t plan to become pregnant, although not required
Dr. Mujtaba said if you’re able to maintain a healthy diet for the remainder of life, you can function just fine with one kidney.
If everything lined up perfectly, you could then do a transplant within a month, while waiting on the list for a deceased donor can take years.
It’s still not simple to be an exact match though, which is why a swap is sometimes a good option. A kidney swap is when multiple people donate to one another.
“Sometimes they’re not a match,” Mujtaba said. “Organ swaps can happen and organ swaps can happen in weeks to months, but the waiting time is usually much shorter.”
Despite what your driver’s license says, the family may ultimately decide what happens. Doctors encourage organ donors to express their wishes to family in case of an unexpected death. If your organs outlive you, families like Deputy Garrett’s don’t get them.