Kidney Transplant - Greg's Story

Miracles happen every day at Saint Barnabas Medical Center and I am living proof.

Just two months after my kidney transplant last summer, I was at the driving range swinging a golf club. I felt great! And, second only to my younger sister who selflessly donated her kidney, I credit Saint Barnabas Medical Center and the care I received there with my continued healthy recovery.

I am a golfer by nature. I began playing at seven years old. Golf is a game of repetition. You find out what works and you do it over and over. This is how I have approached my recovery thanks to my team at Saint Barnabas. They have always given me the detailed instructions and information I need to stay healthy.

An active child, I knew that Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) ran in my family, but my mother always told me not to worry. Between football, basketball and golf, I never gave it a second thought. Then, when I was 31 years old, I lost mom to the disease and it became a focus in my life.

Ten years later, my primary care physician told me it was time to see a specialist as my kidney function was deteriorating. Over the next two years, this trend continued. This was very difficult for me and my family. I went from an active dad, coaching and playing sports with my two sons to being nearly incapacitated.

I reached out to Saint Barnabas Medical Center in the spring of 2015 and after speaking with Dr. Shamkant Mulgaonkar, I knew I made the right decision. He is brilliant and we immediately started the process.

Surgery took place on a Tuesday and just three short days later, I left the hospital. The first eight weeks were difficult, but then I really felt good! I followed every single instruction I was given and thanks to my wonderful wife and boys, I concentrated on myself and getting better.

I made it very clear I did not want to live my life on dialysis. I truly believe that my accomplished physicians and surgeons, and the transplant coordinator and her amazing team worked together to give me the best odds to live my life my way.

I never considered going to any hospital but Saint Barnabas, and the high level of care and attention I received assured me I made the right decision. Everything was done with my best interests in mind and I am so grateful. Saint Barnabas Medical Center will be a part of me forever. I will never forget what my transplant team has done for me.

Greg Ward, West Orange, NJ

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