Michiana man recovering well after kidney transplant 10 weeks ag - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Michiana man recovering well after kidney transplant 10 weeks ago


A Michiana man has a lot to be thankful for.  He says he's doing excellent after undergoing a kidney transplant just 10 weeks ago.  He's the grandpa we've told you about before.  His granddaughter was featured on billboards across Michiana asking you to donate a kidney to save his life.

We were there for his life saving surgery and we spoke to him again Saturday about his recovery.

"I'm a new man," said Jerry Graf.  Graf said he has new life after receiving a kidney 10 weeks ago.  "I can make it through the day without stopping and sleeping."

His kidneys were failing.  So his family set out to find him a new one.  We told you in January how they put up billboards featuring Jerry's Granddaughter Adelynn.  And then a woman who saw our story on the billboards decided to donate her kidney to Jerry.  Jerry's wife Diane said, "It was a great gift."

In April donor Amy Pitrowski and Jerry both underwent surgery for the transplant.  It was an emotional day.  Now two and a half months later Jerry and his family wanted to say "thank you" to everyone who supported them through the process of finding a donor and receiving a new kidney.  "We wouldn't have made it through this without everybody.  The prayers, the phone calls, the actually physical help," said Graf.

They held a BBQ at their house to show their appreciation.  Donor Amy couldn't make it but Jerry says she's also doing well.  And she's not just his kidney donor anymore,  she's family.  "She's a welcome addition to this family and she'll always be welcome," said Graf.

Another important family member who started this all with her face on a billboard is little Adelynn.  Graf said he's so grateful the new kidney is giving him more time with his granddaughter.  "She's growing up fast and every day's a treasure."

And now that he has a new life he has plans.  "I want to travel," said Graf.

Jerry and his wife Diane said they also have plans to help others get the life saving organs they need.  They want to help raise awareness about organ donation.

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