Bryan Needs a Kidney: Tallahassee family makes desperate plea for donor

Posted at 4:01 PM, Aug 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-21 14:29:36-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - It's a problem that affects hundreds of thousands of people in our country.

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, the number of people needing a kidney transplant has more than doubled in the last decade. But getting one, especially when you have a very specific blood type, can be difficult.

That's been the struggle for one family right here, in Tallahassee.

Behind the door, you wouldn't know that the Harvey family has a serious problem: Kim Harvey's husband needs a donor.

"It's been a major adjustment in our lives," said Kim. "It's kind of been like a roller coaster."

Back in 2004, Kim's husband, Bryan, was rushed to the emergency room with high blood pressure. Doctors found that his kidneys were functioning at only 30 percent.

Fast-forward to 2018, his kidneys are functioning at a mere eight percent. In 2016, Bryan was put on the donor recipient list, but having type 'O' blood has its challenges. 

"O' can match with anything so you have A, B and AB individuals who need kidneys, so O kidneys go to them as well," said Kim. "So, it's a longer wait for an O."

A dialysis machine keeps Bryan alive. It fills and drains in his abdomen, essentially acting as a kidney.

"It's much better than going into an office and hooking up there because here I have my wife to comfort me and my daughter and I could do it when I am sleeping," said Bryan.

While worried about finding a donor, the family tries to keep from fearing the worst. 

"All it takes is one match and then he can get back to regular life," Kim said. "No more being stuck to a machine every night. No more wondering if he is going to make it to Jasmine's graduation..."

"It's depressing, definitely depressing," Bryan explained. "But I got to be strong for my wife and daughter and just try to make the best of it everyday."

Despite the setback, the Harveys say they're savoring precious time together, remembering moments of joy, and trying to keep smiling. 

You can find out more information about how to help the Harvey family here or call 850-212-8288.