Chilton Medical Center - ATLANTIC HEALTH SYSTEM
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Chilton Hospital Nurse Donates Kidney to Son in Need
11/08/2012

Denise Johnson and Kevin SiscoMothers have a special bond with their children. Many will go the extra mile for their kids. Some will go much further.

Denise Johnson, RN, of Riverdale, NJ, recently showed the ultimate display of compassion by donating a kidney to her 27-year-old son, Kevin Sisco. The ordeal began after Kevin had his wisdom teeth removed. He experienced a bad reaction, which included vomiting and dehydration.

Kevin was admitted to Chilton Hospital, where his mother serves as an Operating Room nurse. He was treated in the Emergency Department, the Intensive Care Unit and the Pediatrics Unit. Kevin was diagnosed with kidney failure and desperately needed a transplant.

Denise and Kevin went through the New Jersey chapter of The Sharing Network to search for a donor, knowing that the process could take several years. However, Denise stepped in and donated as her son’s health was at stake.

“They test for six proteins,” Denise explained. “People inherit three from each parent. The expectation was that I’d be a three out of six match, which is OK, and they would give Kevin extra anti-rejection drugs. However, I matched five out of six, so it worked out well.”

It took three months from beginning of testing until the transplant. Denise and Kevin underwent a lot of paperwork, physicals and other formalities. The surgery was performed at another hospital via laprascopic incision. Denise was out of work for eight weeks, but it was a small price to pay for ensuring her son’s well-being.

Although Denise was the one that donated the vital organ, she credits Chilton for saving Kevin’s life when his health initially declined. Kevin agreed. He stayed in three hospitals during this nightmarish experience. However, Chilton was his favorite. “I’m not just saying this because of my mom,” he said. “What I liked best about Chilton is the atmosphere. I got more of a personable feeling here. For example, Dietetics went out of their way to make meals that I like. You don’t get that kind of care at most hospitals.”

Kevin has made a full recovery and is a volunteer at The Sharing Network. He also advocates everyone to register to become an organ donor. Kevin is planning to visit a Rutgers University blood drive soon to speak to students about how to register.

Kevin is a computer whiz and plans to start a consulting business. What’s amazing about his ambition is that he is blind. “I’ve used many different methods to fix peoples’ computers,” Kevin said. “I can help over the phone and I have a program that speaks whatever is on the screen.”

Denise’s 26-year-old daughter, Jessica, is also blind and independent. She attends Georgian Court University where she is majoring in social work. Although blindness is hereditary, the family is thankful that the Kevin’s kidney failure isn’t.

For more information about The Sharing Network and how to become a donor, call 1-800-SHARE-NJ or visit www.donatelifenj.org

Chilton Hospital is a fully accredited, 260-bed, acute-care, community hospital. It is a four-time recipient of the HealthGrades Specialty Excellence Award in Stroke, and Five-Star Rated for Stroke Care, the highest possible, for six years in a row. It is also Five-Star Rated for Joint Replacement and Total Knee Replacement for 2012. Chilton’s many services include minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgery, a state-of-the-art Emergency Department, a Pain Management center, the Sleep Health Institute, the Comprehensive Wound Healing/Hyperbaric Center, the Chilton Cancer Center, the MotherBaby Center, an American Diabetes Association-recognized diabetes education program and a weight loss surgery program. Chilton has recently embarked on a $24 million modernization project, which includes the Cardiovascular Interventional Lab, the Breast Center and the Total Joint Center. The hospital is located at 97 West Parkway in Pompton Plains, NJ 07444. For more information about Chilton's facilities and services, or to find a doctor by name, specialty, or location, please visit www.chiltonhealth.org or call 1-888-CHILTON.

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