LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Michael Warnasch was diagnosed six years ago with polycystic kidney disease. Doctors discovered this illness after Warnasch was admitted to the hospital for a case of pneumonia.
"Eventually my kidneys started failing really bad and got down to about eleven percent," said Warnasch. "And, it was time to have surgery."
It was at this point, that Warnasch's cousin, Adrian Neal, volunteered to see if he would be able to be a living donor. Neal underwent days of testing his blood, heart, and, of course, his kidneys. But, according to Neal, it was worth it.
"I remember Micheal mentioning that he may have to have a transplant," said Neal. "And, I remember stating pretty quickly that I'd be willing to do that. That wasn't a major decision at all. I mean, my main concern was for him because I know that kidney disease is serious."
Not only was Neal supporting as a cousin and a donor, he was also supporting his cousin spiritually.
"All pastors should have a concern for the flock and should be willing to go the extra mile," said Neal. "I wouldn't say that was the main driver of this decision, but I was glad to be his pastor, to have prayer with him before the surgery and have prayer for myself."
The surgeries were conducted five weeks ago, with both men coming out sore, but healthy.
"They put it in, right here, in my right side and left my other two kidneys in," said Warnasch. "Your normal kidney size is the size of your fist, and mine is about the size of a volleyball."
Warnasch's immune system has drastically been depleted by the medicines he is required to take, so he often has to wear a surgical mask in crowded places. However, he is still grateful for the surgery and the donor who put him back on the track to a healthy life.
"I think they're looking at hopefully eighty-five to ninety percent kidney function," said Warnasch. "And, I'm not sure when they expect it to be there, but it's already better than it was. So, I'm happy for that. Gods prayers were answered. It was just perfect timing for everything."