Jason Yadlowski has been on kidney dialysis for over a year, but was given a second chance at life last week when he received a transplant. His hospital parner is former Penticton Indian Band Chief Stewart Phillip who also received a new kidney the same week. (Contributed)

Jason Yadlowski has been on kidney dialysis for over a year, but was given a second chance at life last week when he received a transplant. His hospital parner is former Penticton Indian Band Chief Stewart Phillip who also received a new kidney the same week. (Contributed)

Two Pentictonites get kidney transplants three days apart

‘I’m going to live life to the fullest with my kids for my donor’s family too,’ says Jason Yadlowski

A Penticton man is thankful to have his life back after receiving a kidney transplant last week.

Jason Yadlowski has been on kidney dialysis for over a year, but was given a second chance at life last week when he learned he would be receiving a transplant. Coincidentally, when Yadlowski arrived at Vancouver General Hospital to have the procedure done, he ran into former Penticton Indian Band Chief Stewart Phillip who was also receiving a kidney transplant.

Yadlowski and Phillip had become friends over the last two years as they got to know to know each other during their regular dialysis treatments at Penticton Regional Hospital.

Yadlowski received his transplant Monday, Feb. 1 and Phillip’s surgery was performed Wednesday, Feb. 3. Both Penticton men are recovering well in hospital.

Yadlowski, who works at the Penticton Rec centre, was shocked to discover another Pentictonite — let alone someone he knew — was undergoing the same surgery at the same hospital as him.

“I didn’t know he was also getting a kidney at the same time,” said Yadlowski. “I was in my hospital bed and asked the person next to me, ‘where you from?’ and he said Penticton and I was like ‘oh, I’m from Penticton, what are the odds of that’ and it ended up being him!”

READ MORE: Former Penticton Indian Band Chief Stewart Phillip receives kidney transplant

Yadlowski’s kidney came from a deceased donor while Phillip’s was donated by his daughter. Both men will stay in Vancouver for another two to three months for regular check-ins with doctors.

Yadlowski and Phillip were previously receiving kidney dialysis treatments at Penticton Regional Hospital, requiring treatments three days a week for three to four hours. “It’s pretty much a part-time job,” Yadlowski said of his dialysis treatments.

Now that he has received a transplant, Yadlowski is elated to have his life back. “You feel so much better… there’s no more dialysis and you start feeling pretty normal again,” said the father of two. “You have your life back really and it’s thanks to someone giving you a kidney or you would die.”

After two years on dialysis, Yadlowski was elated to learn doctors had found him a donor.

Doctors told Yadlowski and his family that they had found a donor at 9 p.m. the night before he was expected to be in Vancouver for surgery. “As soon as one comes up that matches you, they give you a call and you have to leave right away, like right now,” he said.

“It’s a scramble but we did it,” Yadlowski’s wife Julie Forrest said. She will be by his side helping him recover in Vancouver for the next few months.

The biggest thing he’s now excited for is being able to watch his kids grow up, said the father of an eight-year-old and 10-year-old.

“It will just be nice for Jason to be able see them go to the beach and swim and grow up,” said Julie.

Jason Ladowski says he’s looking forward to watching his children grow up now that he has a new kidney. (Contributed)

“It’s tough to even say in words but you’re just so grateful,” Yadlowski said. “I’m going to make this battle for them (the donor) too, so them dying and giving me the kidney didn’t go to waste. I’m going to live life with my kids to the fullest for them too.”

Many people are unaware of how easy it is to become an organ and potentially save a life, Yadlowski. He encourages anyone who may be interested in organ donation to look further into the process.

For more information on kidney transplants in B.C., visit this link.

READ MORE: Penticton kidney dialysis patients receive warm socks from volunteers



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

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