Patience certainly is a virtue for Leonard Weaver, who at age 77, had waited nine years for his new kidney. Having a rare blood type and after 30 potential donors who ended up not being a match, Dialysis seemed to be his only hope. All of that changed, however on June 8, 2019, when he found his match.
“The nurse coordinator called me on a Friday and asked if I had found a four leaf clover. On Saturday I was having my surgery and as I was laying there waiting for my kidney, I couldn’t believe it was finally happening.”
Leonard also couldn’t believe how he found himself in kidney failure at all. To this day, he doesn’t exactly know. A mason for 47 years, he spent nearly five decades crawling on scaffolding, requiring a lot of Motrin to deal with the pain and keep going. Around age 67, he retired and had both knees replaced and was walking better than he ever had.
Yet, he was advised to see a nephrologist after blood work and symptoms raised concern. An ultrasound revealed his kidneys were failing. At that time, he was placed on dialysis and put on the transplant list. Although his journey was long, Leonard has nothing but positive things to say about his experience with UPMC Pinnacle and his surgeon, Dr. Ladie.
“I was at different hospitals over the years and I was never treated anywhere better than at UPMC Pinnacle. They took such good care of me.”
Always grateful, Leonard and his wife wanted to show the nurses just how much they appreciated their compassion and waiting on him hand and foot. The Weavers delivered two dozen Danishes from a local bakery and specialty teas to the special caregivers who helped him so much.
Feeling stronger each day, Leonard isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
“I have plenty of work to do here with 50 acres of land. My doctor said I can be active and my son helps mow the lawn. My wife, Ruth and I have motorcycles and we still ride. We’ve been married 54 years. Without her I wouldn’t be able to do this!”
One thank you he couldn’t articulate was for the anonymous donor who gave him his new lease on life.
“He saved my life. If I see him in the heavens, I am gonna thank him.”