In need of a kidney

After having a kidney transplant in 2006, Stephen Bagby’s kidney is failing again and he is in need of another transplant and is looking to the community for help.
Stephen’s wife, Kesia Bagby, explained that in March 2006, when Stephen was 26 years old, was the first time he was diagnosed with end stage renal disease. She said he has no family history of kidney disease but it was a sudden onset of Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a rare disease that caused his kidney failure.
Stephen began dialysis in 2007 while they were living in California. Shortly afterward, he and his family moved to North Carolina to be closer to family. In 2009, he was unexpectedly gifted a kidney by a family friend whose son had been killed in a tragic accident.
Kesia and Stephen started Cool Breeze 1250 Heating and Cooling in Kernersville at the end of 2012 and returned to residential work so they could have more flexibility for their family.
Kesia said Stephen has had to go to the doctor every three months for doctors to monitor his kidney functions and it was during a routine check-up in April 2018 that they saw something.
“They scheduled for him to have a biopsy and when they saw that his body was rejecting the kidney, they hospitalized him in July 2019,” she said. “He started dialysis in August 2019.”
Kesia explained that Stephen has gone through several life changes, including going on a renal diet and extra medications.
“We can’t eat out as much now and have to eat more home cooked meals so we can watch his sodium levels,” she said.
The biggest change Kesia mentioned is that Stephen is having to spend a lot of hours away from work for his dialysis, which he does three times a week for four hours. She said even when he was in the hospital, he continued taking calls from clients.
“He was still working and just at the end of December, he cut back on service calls. Now, he is in the office more,” she said, noting that because of the medications he has a lower immune system, making him more susceptible to catching viruses and getting sick.
Kesia said Stephen is one step away from going on the kidney transplant list. She explained that before he can be listed on the registry, they are encouraged to have $4,000 – $6,000 in funds saved up due to time out of work.
Kesia said they do not have any type of fund set up yet to take donations, but currently to help with saving funds, they are asking the community to contact them if they need a tune up or need their HVAC system serviced.
“We are blue collar, hardworking individuals just like you, with five kids, who struggle many times to make ends meet,” she said. “We go without so our employees can get paid. Many weeks we work seven days a week just to be able to ensure we provide enough work for our employees We have four other technicians besides Stephen who have been trained by him who are ready to work.”
Kesia said the average life of a cadaver kidney is about 10 years, but a kidney from a live donor gives significantly more time.
“We are praying for his speedy recovery and a kidney transplant so he can get back to living a semi-normal life to enjoy his kids and me,” she said.  
If you are interested in being tested to see if you can be a kidney donor, you must call Wake Forest Baptist Health and give them Stephen’s full name (Stephen Bagby) and birth date (12/7/1979).
To find out more about being a kidney donor, visit https://www.wakehealth.edu/Specialty/a/Abdominal-Organ-Transplant-Program/Living-Donor-Program. To contact Cool Breeze 1250 Heating and Cooling, call 336-497-1250.
The phone number for Wake Forest Baptist Health is 336-713-5685.

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