Austin DeWeese contracted strep throat in 2015, but he didn’t realize how serious it was. He never treated the illness, which can have devastating consequences.
Austin developed HSP from the untreated strep. This disorder causes inflammation and bleeding in small blood vessels.
“I got some blood drawn on the orders of my primary care doctor,” Austin told WJBK.
“The very next day he called my mom and said, ‘Your son is in kidney failure, we have to do something about it.'”
At only 22 years old, Austin had to put his life on hold to undergo dialysis treatment three times a week. He quit school and moved back in with his mother during the treatment.
Although the diagnosis was heartbreaking, the timing couldn’t be better.
Austin’s mother, Shaundra, had recently moved from her job as an O.R. nurse to a nurse in the dialysis center.
Austin and his family waited patiently for news of an organ donor match. It was then that one call from Shaundra changed everything for her son.
“When I made the one call they said it was negative. Immediately I was panicking because I thought it was a bad thing,” Shaundra said.
“They said no it’s negative, that means it is good. Because none of the antibodies reacted and you are a perfect match for your son.”
These matches are extremely rare, and Shaundra is incredibly grateful that she’ll be able to save the life of her son.
“It is very emotional knowing that I can help him,” she said. “See him grow and get married and have kids, knowing I helped in that, is overwhelming.”
Austin isn’t out of the woods after his upcoming surgery. The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with the costly and lengthy recovery process.
“What can you say about it?” Austin asked. “A mom already gives your life one time and now she is giving me life twice.”
So when you’ve got symptoms of strep throat, or any other illness such as the flu, don’t be too stubborn for your own good.
Make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible and make sure you get treated for whatever it is they diagnose you with.
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