Need for kidney is latest challenge for Londonderry woman
Still mourning the unexpected death of her husband, Philip, the Londonderry resident is now facing yet another challenge — the failure of her kidneys.
The inherited disease, which often isn’t revealed until adulthood, causes numerous cysts to form on the kidneys and, over time, can cause reduced kidney function often leading to kidney failure. About half of all PKD patients experience kidney failure, according to statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“He knew this would one day happen,” Meuse said on Friday as she sat in her living room of the cozy home where the couple had hoped they’d spend many happy hours of retirement together.
Philip Meuse, a Massachusetts optician and veteran of the United States Navy, had planned to donate one of his kidneys to his ailing wife, but it wasn’t to be.
He was 66 years old.
“He was the love of my life,” Meuse said. “And when the time came to donate his kidney, Philip didn’t hesitate.”
“Our lives were such a whirlwind,” said Meuse, who worked for Harvard Medical School for over two decades. “So we decided to retire early and enjoy our time together.”
As Meuse adjusts to the quiet that’s overtaken her home, she’s kept busy by focusing on the future.
Her brother, Gene, who lives across the street, suffers from the same condition though another brother, Robert, was able to donate a kidney several years ago as he’s the sole family member not suffering from PKD.
“Robert came home in two days,” Meuse said, noting that the procedure for kidney donors involves a simple laparoscopic procedure that only requires a tiny incision.
Her insurance plan will cover 100 percent of the donor’s medical expenses and Meuse said she’d reimburse her donor for any travel costs, as well as time lost from missing work.
Anyone with general good health and without diabetes may become a kidney donor and any tests may be performed by one’s local medical center.
Those wishing to donate a kidney but aren’t found to be a suitable match for Meuse may be matched with other patients in need of a transplant.
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