By TAMI QUIGLEY Staff writer
Scott Bedics was the picture of health until one day in June 2016 when he passed out at home, was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed to be in the end stage of kidney failure.
“One day he was perfectly healthy and the next day he has a serious, life-threatening chronic disease,” said his mother Joann Bedics.
Now, Scott, 51, and his parents Bill and Joann are searching for a live kidney donor, with a lot of help and heart from their parish, Notre Dame of Bethlehem.
“Thanks to the prayers of many and to the skill of Scott’s doctors, he appears to be very well. However, despite the many medications that he takes and the special diet that he follows faithfully, his kidney function numbers have fallen to the point that he has needed to begin dialysis,” Joann said.
“He does peritoneal dialysis, which can be done in his own bedroom as he sleeps. He has not yet experienced any of the symptoms that can occur in patients on dialysis,” she said.
Joann explained instead of going to a dialysis center three times a week for four to five hours, Scott is on his machine at home seven days a week for approximately eight hours each night. “In addition, he still works at his job on a computer, thank heaven, which he needs to help meet his medical expenses.”
“With God’s help, Scott is trying to find a healthy living kidney donor so that he can return to a more normal lifestyle.”
Joann said thanks to Notre Dame parish’s retreat community, he has had several potential donors, but each one has been eliminated by the hospital due to an illness which was previously unknown to the potential donor. “That’s a good thing.
These potential donors, though eliminated, learned of their illnesses and are being watched or treated to prevent that disease from becoming an active problem to them.”
Joann said Scott is on the list to receive a cadaver kidney at University of Pennsylvania Hospital. The average time it takes to receive a kidney from this list is between four and six years. “The only way to shorten this waiting time is to go out and find your own living donor,” she said.
“Scott’s Dad and I sent in prayer requests to our parish retreat community’s prayer request email contacts, Mike and Kathy Grasso. This request was then forwarded to about 200 retreat participants. We asked not only for prayers but also for donor volunteers.
“Many responded and began the testing but were eventually eliminated for various medical reasons. “
“During these testing periods for the potential donors Scott is given no information from the hospital due to HIPPA regulations. The only way he finds out how the testing is going is if the donor informs him. Another notable fact is that only one donor continues along the process at a time.
“Scott is back at the beginning again with no prospective donors, but his spirits are good, and he feels OK. He remains confident that soon a new, completely healthy donor will contact him. Only God knows, and we accept his will.
“I do want to stress how wonderful it is to have a whole parish supporting you by frequently mentioning that they are praying for Scott, by reaching out to ask Scott how he’s doing, by just smiling and saying hello. We’ve been members of Notre Dame only about six years but they are our parish ‘family’”
She said at Christmastime, the 55+ Club created a spiritual bouquet for Scott. “What a wonderful, loving gift. Scott has his own little support group at the Saturday 4:30 p.m. Mass. He loves to sing during Mass and they have all expressed their appreciation for his singing and for his positive spirit. He tells his Dad and me that so many parishioners say hello to him, church is like a home to him.”
Msgr. Thomas Baddick, pastor of Notre Dame, said in the past few years, two parishioners have received successful kidney transplants, “And we involved the entire parish family by actively praying for them. We prayed that they might find a donor, as well as prayed for them up to surgery, and prayerfully celebrated their successful surgery.”
One of the parishioners was Jason Parlo, who THE A.D. TIMES featured in an article. “His family had painted a large message on their family van, and someone saw it and called them. The donor started attending Mass here at Notre Dame with the Parlo family, leading up to the surgery,” Msgr. Baddick said.
“It was a joy to administer the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick for both of them at the 10:30 a.m. Sunday Mass the weekend before surgery. It was a beautiful moment, and the love and prayers of the entire congregation were powerfully present. I look forward to doing the same for Scott someday.
“The last few years, we’ve been seeking a donor for Scott, posting regular notices in the parish bulletin and website. We are with Scott and his parents, every step of the way.
“Unfortunately, successful candidates have been disqualified for medical reasons. Our adult retreat community consists of a couple hundred members, and we send regular emails to all members, asking for prayers, as well as serious consideration that they be tested as a potential donor.”
Joann said a potential donor of a living kidney should be healthy, have the same tissue type as Scott, and have a blood type that is compatible with Scott’s A positive blood. There are several types that are compatible, in addition to A positive.
There is no obligation incurred for contacting them. The next step would be to fill out a questionnaire for the hospital, which will help the hospital determine if your kidney may be compatible.