Euless Boy Counts Days Until Mom’s Kidney Transplant

EULESS (CBSDFW.COM) – Jackson is crossing off the days on his wall calendar, counting down to September 29. “This is the day my mom gets a kidney. That’s the day,” said the 4-year-old, pointing it out. His mother, Jennifer Terry, suffered kidney failure three years ago and had both kidneys removed.

Since that procedure, Terry has survived on dialysis — three hours a day, five days a week — often leaving her too exhausted to keep up with her energetic son. “He’s getting into soccer and doing all these things,” Terry said. “And that’s stuff I want to do. And it’s just horrible.”

“She doesn’t have fun a lot,” explained Jackson.

Terry understands what it is like to have a sick parent. Her own father also suffered from polycystic kidney disease (PKD). “I remember, during the weekends, he’d be in bed sleeping for hours and hours,” she said. He died last November from complications. “He was one of my best friends.”

When Terry’s father died, her doctors were still searching for her kidney. But it was Jackson who helped her find one.

Dana Ladd is Jackson’s aunt on his father’s side, a relative that Terry said she barely knew until the hospital told her that Ladd had gotten tested and come up a perfect match. “I think I just sat there in shock,” said Terry. “She’s saving my life.”

It is all very simple to Jackson. “She has two kidneys. So, she can give one to her and she will already have a kidney,” Jackson explained.

Meanwhile, Terry is now ready to give up her heart to the man who stood by her and Jackson for the last three years, Steven Rothfuss. The two are now engaged and they have set their wedding for next year — also on September 29. “So, every time it comes around, it’s our wedding anniversary and it’s also the day Jennifer got her kidney,” said Rothfuss.

“It’s kind of like a new life,” Terry said. “Getting a kidney is like a new life.”

But nobody seems more excited than Jackson. “Yup,” he said, “I’m ready for that kidney!”

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  • Beth Carpenter

    Good luck Terry. I’ve had my 3rd kidney for almost 3 years and there’s nothing like getting up in the morning and not having to worry about whether or not it is a dialysis day or not. Plus you don’t have to worry about fluid restriction anymore.
    Thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • Renee

    I am praying for this young man and his mother.
    I have walked in his mother’s shoes.
    My daughter gave me the gift of life with one of her kidneys in 2006.
    I am forever grateful to my daughter and to God, Who makes all things possible.

  • RayB

    I’m so happy for you! I gave my bro-in-law a kidney in 2004. He’s doing fantastic after almost 8yrs w/doctors saying it could last for up to 20! I pray you have the same success with your second chance at life! :)

  • Peggy

    What a great story! Many blessings to this family!

  • Buck Naked

    Great story. We need more like it … and more organ doners!

  • YRofTexas

    Thru the unselfishness of a gentleman in East Texas, my brother-in-law, after waiting nearly 10 years, was finally able to get his long awaited Liver Transplant. Because of what my family has gone through, I have marked my Drivers License to let others know that I am an organ donor, should the opportunity arise.

    God Bless the recipient and God Bless the Donor!!

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