For Mom, a kidney

For Mom, a kidney

kidneydonor-webLourdes nephrologist Dr. Manasa Ujire stands with, from left, Janine Vallen, transplant nephrology nurse practitioner, Gregory DeBellis and Mary DeBellis.

While others were enjoying the kick-off to summer with a long Memorial Day holiday, 45-year-old Millville resident Gregory DeBellis was donating his kidney to his mother Mary, who was in end-stage renal failure and on dialysis.
“She’s done so much for me in my life,” said Gregory. “This was the least I could do.”
On June 13, mother and son presented the organ transplant team at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center with a plaque for being “angels in the medical field.”
Sixty-five-year-old Mary DeBellis, of Bridgeton, began battling chronic kidney disease 10 years ago. Last fall, she began receiving peritoneal dialysis at home.
Her family also investigated a kidney transplant. The typical wait time for a deceased donor kidney transplant is five to seven years. But a donation from a living donor is considerably less, and Gregory and his wife Michelle began the process to see if either was compatible.
“Greg came up with the idea he would give me his kidney. He was a perfect match,” said Mary. “At first I was a little nervous (with the transplant) because I thought he might need it someday.”
“I couldn’t stand her being on dialysis. I just hated it,” said Gregory, a mechanic and welder for Cumberland Dairy. “I was grateful I was healthy enough to do it.”
Lourdes surgeons Dr. Ely Sebastian and Dr. John Radomski performed the transplant on May 27. Mary and Gregory both went home that Friday.
The DeBellis family is grateful for the treatment they’ve received at Lourdes. “I gained a family. Everyone here is so kind,” said Gregory. “They call me to say, ‘How are you doing?’ You don’t get that elsewhere. It’s awesome what they do here.”

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