Donnie's Kidney Transplant

$2,695 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 30 people in 22 months
Don Whitelaw – Husband, Father, Son, Brother, Uncle, Friend

On July 25, 2012 the Whitelaw’s lives changed forever.  Don Whitelaw was working out of town and had come home for a few days.  He wasn’t feeling good, experiencing some heart palpitations & went to the urgent care.  After the exam and blood work, the doctor told Don he was extremely anemic, he needed to go home to bed rest and start taking iron.  That evening at 8:00PM the phone rang and that was the call they will never forget.  The nurse told Don “get to the hospital immediately because you are going into renal failure.”  Yvonne rushed Don to Sentara Princess Anne Hospital where he was admitted and spent over a week going through multiple tests to find out what was happening.  Yvonne never left his side.  The initial diagnosis was hypertension.   The second day at the hospital, Don started dialysis and their journey began.  They were educated on what to expect with Don’s new life on dialysis and the unknown had the family extremely worried.  Don was discharged on August 1, 2012 with a diagnosis of End Stage Renal Disease.  He immediately started dialysis at Davita on an outpatient basis, this became very time consuming and depressing so he began at home dialysis.  On November 16, 2012 Don met with the transplant surgeon to determine if he was a candidate for a kidney transplant, which thankfully he was.  Don’s life has had some really up moments and some really down moments, but through it all he has kept his head up and continued to work to support his family. 

So the journey began in finding a donor for Don.  On July 5, 2016, his daughter, Kaleigh, found out she was a perfect match to give her daddy a kidney.  This was an extremely emotional time for the family with the uncertainty of how this would affect her life.  After getting assurance from the doctors that Kaleigh would be able to live a normal life, get married & have children, the wheels were set in motion to proceed with this beautiful gift of life. 

The surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, December 13, 2016.  Kaleigh will be in one operating room having her kidney removed and 2 hours later Don will be in another operating room to receive the kidney.  Each procedure will take 4 hours.  They will both be in the hospital probably until Saturday.  Yvonne will be taking off work the entire week to be by her family’s side in the hospital and once they are home she will need to take more time off.  With all the time spent going to doctor’s appointments for both her & Don and all of life’s other unexpected events, Yvonne has no vacation time left to use, meaning no money will be coming in from her work during this crucial time she needs to be with her family.  Medical bills are increasing for them and with Kaleigh not able to work either, they will be taking care of Kaleigh’s medical bills.  Don will continue to receive a standard paycheck, but no overtime. 

Don, Yvonne & Kaleigh are family to many of us, always there for everyone no matter what.  They have made an impact on many of our lives in so many ways.  As the medical bills will be increasing even more and Yvonne won't be getting pay for anytime she needs to take off from work, we would appreciate any help you may be able to offer this awesome family, whether it be monetary, spiritual or emotional.  Thank you from the Whitelaw’s and their entire family.


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It's been awhile since I posted an update on Don & Kaleigh's progress. Kaleigh is doing great, had her post op appointment on 1/5/17, incisions look good, she has been given permission to drive & she will be returning to work in a couple of weeks. Don had his post op appointment on 1/13/17, had the catheter & JJ stent removed, went home feeling fine, but by 11PM he was running a temp of 102.6 & vomiting. Yvonne took him to SNGH ER where he was admitted into the hospital early 1/14/17 AM and is still there as of today. Thankfully with major antibiotics, the fever broke & his vomiting subsided. He has had a CT scan & numerous labs run which have come back showing an infection in his blood. He had a consult from Infectious Disease today & continues on the antibiotics. He will remain in the hospital some of this week and will be sent home with a PICC line which will allow him to continue pushing the IV antibiotics and helping clear up any infection. Yvonne has had to take more time off from work to be where she needs to be, at the hospital with Don. Don is a strong man, but I know these set backs can be upsetting both physically and emotionally. The love of his wife & daughter are immeasurable as is the love & well wishes from all his family & friends. Please continue with the prayers, words of encouragement and any monetary donations you may be able to give to the Whitelaw's as they continue on this road to recovery. Every little bit helps. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.
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After two weeks post op this past Tuesday the 27th, Don & Kaleigh are doing well, but they still have weeks of recovery ahead of them. Don has had some wound care issues requiring visits from home health, but he continues to heal each day. His lab visits have been great since the surgery, so good in fact he no longer has to test his sugar on a daily basis, yay to no more finger pricks! He is up and about and feeling good, but of course he still gets tired & needs to take time to rest, after all - it has only been two weeks since the surgery! Kaleigh is also healing more and more everyday. With the exception of some pain management issues, she's been a trooper & has been having an ideal recovery, again, as with Don, she gets tired, but this is totally normal and to be expected. Her post op follow up with her surgeon is 1/5/17 and God willing, if all is going well she should be back to work by 1/24/17.
With Kaleigh not working until late January & Don going to be out of work for awhile, Yvonne is still having to take time off from work, with no vacation time, to take care of them & drive both Kaleigh & Don to their appointments.
Let's make the start of 2017 a great one for the Whitelaw's. Anything you may be able to offer, spiritually, emotionally or by donating to this Go Fund page to help offset medical bills, household bills, etc. will be greatly appreciated.
Happy New Year to all of you from The Whitelaw's and their family & friends.
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Quick update on the patients. Kaleigh is doing good, in pain & very tired, but was able to walk to see her daddy in ICU the day after surgery. She encountered a rash on her face around her eye, that seems have been helped with medicine. The catheter was removed which I'm sure she is so thankful for. Plan is for her to go home tomorrow (Friday, 12/16). Don is still in ICU, got out of bed this AM and is feeling good. He will be in the hospital probably until Saturday. Yvonne has been going back & forth to their rooms taking care of them. She's tired, but I know she wouldn't want to be anywhere else, but with her family. Please continue to help this wonderful family in anyway you can, monetary, spiritual or emotional. This family has done so much for so many people, let's give back to them. Remember every little bit helps, no matter what. God is good folks, let's show the Whitelaw's just how good we, their family & friends are. Thank you.
Post Op Day 1
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$2,695 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 30 people in 22 months
Created December 12, 2016
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$50
Steve McCarty
22 months ago

God bless the three of y'all. I will continue to pray for comfort healing and peace <3

$100
Anonymous
22 months ago
DC
$25
DAWN COSTELLO
22 months ago

Merry Christmas!

$100
Greg Grehawick
22 months ago

I hope the two of you are back on your feet soon! Merry Christmas!

ST
$10
Stephen Truitt
22 months ago

Saw you guys on the news this morning. You are 1 amazing daughter!

CH
$200
Candy Hennig
22 months ago

So proud of you. Candy,Tim,Jillian,Mike,Elizabeth and Gunner.

JK
$100
Jim Kibler
22 months ago

Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas for the entire family.

$50
Judi Hoppel
22 months ago

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!! May God continue to bless your family. A lot of people are sending good thoughts and prayers.

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