‘Kidney Transplant Team saved my life’
When husband and father-of-three Dennis Sweeting contacted his friends and family in 2012 to let them know his kidneys were failing and the outlook was not good, it was intended mostly as an update. He had no expectations.
It was a reply from a close friend that changed everything.
He very simply said, “I have A+ blood, tell me what you’d like me to do,” Sweeting, now 43, recalls of longtime friend John Young, who offered to give Sweeting one of his healthy kidneys. That was the start of an experience that would forever change Sweeting’s life and would mark the beginning of a very special relationship between these two friends and Crozer-Keystone Health System.
Sweeting, who was diagnosed several years ago with a rare kidney disease known as C1q, was among the first patients to have a kidney transplant through Crozer-Keystone’s Kidney Transplant Program, which officially began in 2012 (although planning for the program started much earlier). And he was the first Crozer-Keystone patient to receive a kidney from a living donor.
“I still don’t know how to thank him for it,” Sweeting says of Young, who lives three-plus hours away in Waldorf, Maryland. “If he calls me at 2 a.m. and says he wants a Philly cheesesteak, I will bring it to him,” he jokes.
Today, well-over a year since his surgery, Sweeting is “feeling great.” He says he is grateful for the care he received from Crozer-Keystone’s transplant team at Crozer-Chester Medical Center (Crozer), where his procedure was performed.
Sweeting, notes that he chose Crozer over another larger program because of the individualized attention he received. Even though the other program was very well-established, Sweeting says he felt more “like a number” there and did not feel the “same sense of personal care” he felt at Crozer.
“They were great to me,” he says of Crozer’s transplant team. “They saved my life. It’s not a play on words, they truly saved my life.”
Sweeting is also grateful to his wife Jocelyn Sweeting, his three kids—Sekani Wilson, Azana Sweeting, and Nailah Sweeting, and of course his donor and good friend, John Young—who made the transplant possible.