Clock ticks for man awaiting kidney transplant
Jessie Sifuentes is a family man, but the 39-year-old from Harlingen doesn't know how much more time he will get to spend with his wife and four children.
"It's taken away what I like to do, being a dad and gardening. Most of the time I'm in the hospital," said Sifuentes.
He is suffering from a kidney infection.
The scars on his arm left from thick needles tell the story.
The former security guard spends more than three hours a day, a couple times a week, on dialysis at Fresenius Medical Care in Harlingen.
His clock is ticking.
"The longer it takes... the more probability that I'm not going to make it," said Sifuentes.
"That's my biggest fear of all that if we don TMt find a kidney donor, we'll end up losing him," said his wife Jessica.
He has been on the waiting list for two years now.
According to the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance, so many people can donate a kidney and give the gift of life, but they simply choose not to.
"If you've got a donate heart on your license people think that means, if you go to the hospital they won't do anything to save your life, which is completely untrue," said TOSA representative Edwina Garza.
In fact, doctors are there to help whoever is in front of them first, rather than taking their organs.
The number of registered donors in both Hidalgo and Cameron counties is now at nine percent, up from four percent last year.
Still, those like Sifuentes haven't found the help they need.
"Find it in your heart to, if possible, get tested and see if you're a match for my kidney," said Sifuentes.
This fighter and his family know, when one door closes, another one opens.
Those who register with the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance can have their organs donated after they pass away.
Otherwise, organs are thrown away during the embalming process.
If you donate, they will be put to good use.
For more information visit www.txorgansharing.org