Digital First: Former MGCCC athlete needs new kidneys

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Bobby Vo, a former tennis player for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, needs new kidneys. He has been active all of his life but that all changed after he learned about his current health conditions.

Vo learned about the problem while getting ready for officer training in the Navy. When he arrived, he started to have a difficult time running because his feet would swell. The navy diagnosed him with a cold.

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Vo got a cold that he could not shake. It lasted for weeks. He eventually went back to the doctor. After the results came back from a cardiologist, Vo learned he had a hole in his heart.

In January 2019, Vo learned that he has a rare autoimmune disease called Immunoglobulin A Nephropathy, also known as Berger’s disease. The disease can occur when a certain antibody (immunoglobulin A) builds in the kidneys. It can cause damage, inflammation, and scarring. Doctors said there is no cure, but certain medications can slow the damage. For most patients, it takes about 20 years or more for the disease to develop into end-stage kidney disease.

Vo said, “It occurred extremely quickly for me, my doctors estimate it took less than a few months for it to put me in my current state.”

Doctors placed Vo on hemodialysis. “Since I was young and wanting to return to school and work, I was recommended to go on peritoneal dialysis,” explained Vo. “I am now on that type of dialysis for 12 hours per day, every day until the day of my transplant.”

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Vo said he is not on the waiting list to receive new kidneys. Family and friends have offered to donate their kidneys, but Vo said they cannot be tested until he is on the list.

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Vo said dialysis has been a good thing for him, but he said the treatment can cause him to have trouble breathing, body cramps, and weight loss.

Vo said he is looking forward to receiving a transplant because he is ready to move on. We’re told he has been diagnosed with end-stage renal disease.

For people who have abnormally high blood pressure, swollen feet/extremities, feel weak, and/or nauseous, should request blood tests as these are all common signs of reduced kidney function.

If you would like to support Vo, click here to find out how.

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