YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – When Naida Gonzalez moved to Youngstown five years ago to treat a medical condition, she had no idea that it would be her son who would end up needing the most care.
Luis Garcia was diagnosed with kidney failure and put on a waiting list roughly three years ago. Now his mother is desperately fighting to find him a donor before it’s too late.
Every night Naida hooks Luis up to his dialysis machine. She checks on him, changes out his medicine and helps him move around the house. She says no matter how old he gets, he’s her son and she will always take care of him.
“We’re alone together. He’s with me and I’m with him all the time,” she said.
With her having her own health complications, Naida worries if something happens to her, there will be no one to take care of Luis.
“He gets very worried for me, but I get more worried for him. Because if I go to the hospital, there’s no one who can do dialysis for him. Last time I was in the hospital… and nobody did dialysis for him, and he almost died,” she said.
In Puerto Rico, Luis worked as a paramedic and a medical assistant. He was also a pastor for 15 years. He moved to the states with Naida when she came to have an operation done.
Luis has been diabetic since he was 12 years old. Naida says it was diabetes that eventually led to his kidneys failing.
“The doctor told me if he didn’t start dialysis he was gonna die,” she said.
Luis told us that he is praying for a miracle and that someone would be willing to become a donor for him to live a longer life.
“For me, what I want is the gift of life and to not be dependent on the machine,” he said.
Despite the long nights, the countless medications, doctor and hospital visits, and the endless prayers, Naida and Luis say they aren’t giving up.
“I don’t lose hope because I know the lord is there with me,” Naida said.
There is a way to help. Anyone who wants to inquire about becoming a kidney donor for Luis can register at LivingDonorReg.upmc.com and enter his name as the recipient. You can also call Luis at 330-301-3575.