Years ago, at the age of 20, Ralph Garza’s life changed.
“I woke up one morning in a pool of blood and I couldn’t stop my nose from bleeding so I took myself to the hospital and they found out I had kidney failure.” Garza said.
Up until that point he was very active and worked in construction, with no signs of his kidney’s failing, he said.
“I kind of ran away a little bit when I first found out, I ended up going to north Carolina and stayed there a little bit and I really got sick.” He added.
Garza finally came back to Michigan and started dialysis. He was on that for just under three years and his father gave him a kidney.
Doctors, up until recently, unable to detect what was causing his kidney’s to fail, until he moved to the west side of the state. Even Garza and his wife Jessica, now from Coopersville, have a hard time saying the name or spelling it because it is so rare.
Now, Garza is in need of another transplant. He was put on dialysis again back in August. After a lot of blood work and testing, his wife Jessica is donating one of her kidneys.
“I’m not afraid, just more anxious to get it over with.” Jessica said with a smile.
She jokingly said, “I hope this proves that I love him.”
The procedure will take place next week at St. Mary’s Internal Medicine in Grand Rapids; the same place where Jessica works as a medical assistant.
Between them, they have four children.
“We talked to the oldest ones about it and my youngest son, still he’s a little hesitant he still, “I don’t want daddy to die I don’t want daddy to die”. “ Ralph said.
Grandparents are stepping in to help out the Garzas who will be in the hospital about a week.