Harry Bryant retired in Vernon with his wife, Carol. He was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at the age of 50 and has taken his search for a donor online. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)

Vernon grandpa needs a kidney

Harry Bryant turns to Facebook to search for a donor, educate others on kidney disease

Harry Bryant was in tip-top shape when he turned 50, or at least that’s what he thought before the checkup his wife, Carol, pushed him to book.

It led him to be diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.

Never having felt bad a day in his life, Bryant said the diagnosis came as a surprise.

“I jokingly tell friends I never had kidney disease until she made me go to the doctor,” he wrote on a social media post.

Over the years, Bryant’s kidney function has continued to deteriorate, now functioning at 11 per cent.

He was told by doctors treating him in Vancouver he could wait until dialysis is necessary — at that point, patients are automatically added to the cadaver organ waitlist — or he could push to find his own living donor.

“‘Don’t just sit there and wait for it to happen,’” he recalled a doctor from St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver saying to him.

“Make it happen.”

The Texas man, who retired from managing manufacturing plants in Austin, moved to Vernon with his wife to be closer to their grandchildren.

His family, especially his wife, are the driving force behind Bryant’s perseverance to continue the fight and forge ahead.

Upon learning the news, close friends and family underwent testing to see if they were a match but to no avail. Despite that, Bryant didn’t slow his search. Instead, he went online.

He became proactive and started a Facebook page to raise awareness of chronic kidney disease and search for a potential live donor.

“I’m not the type of guy that puts myself out there,” he noted.

Without social media and the Grandpa Needs a Kidney Facebook page, Bryant said he would have likely given up his search.

“I think it was done,” he said.

“I had resigned myself to just saying, ‘Okay, fine, wait until you’re on dialysis (and) then on the cadaver list.’”

Doctors told him the success rates of transplants and overall quality of life are higher with a live donor.

Bryant, whose blood is type A and is a universal organ recipient, said his Facebook page is more a resource to educate its followers about the disease that affects nearly three million Canadians, according to the Canadian Medical Association. That’s 12.5 per cent of adults in Canada.

“My quest is from the standpoint of just getting it out there,” Bryant said. “The website is just as much about education as it is my own personal needs.”

But, he added, it “would be great to get a kidney.”

READ MORE: Beer and burgers to raise cash for Vernon man fighting cancer

READ MORE: WATCH: Hollywood actor Chris Pratt shows Kamloops love on social media

Health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Vernon man Harry Bryant (bottom centre) with grandchildren Gunner, Hudson, Carol (wife), Sarah (daughter in-law), Jason (stepson) and TJ snap a fun photo. (Contributed)

Harry Bryant was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at the age of 50. His wife Carol, centre, and their grandsons is the driving force behind his online search for a potential donor. (Contributed)

Just Posted

Vernon Vipers captain wins Duncan Wray Memorial Award

Connor Marritt exemplifies late owner’s catchphrase: ‘Once A Viper, Always A Viper’

Salmon Arm beats Vernon in BCHL video final

Silverbacks to meet Cowichan Valley Capitals in league’s simulated video Fred Page Cup final

Vernon player double winner at TRU Awards Night

Basketball player Micheal Rouault earns pair of honours in final year

Coldstream’s Korol top UBCO graduating female athlete

Jordan Korol goes out as one of the all-time best to wear a Heat uniform

Vernon nordic centre loses out on 2021 nationals

Sovereign Lake was to host 2020 Canadian championships, canceled due to COVID-19

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Mitchell’s Musings: Pandemics and parking meters don’t add up

Despite COVID-19 crisis, City of Vernon insists on paid parking downtown

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

Most Read