BELLVILLE — After waiting 10 months for a match, Robert Wallot of Bellville was overjoyed to hear he would receive a new kidney. Living with diabetes for many years destroyed his own kidneys to where they could not function properly.
The hardest part was the wait. To keep his kidneys functioning, Wallot was placed on dialysis for 12 hours each day until the transplant.
“I was on peritoneal dialysis for a long time because I didn’t do well on the hemodialysis,” he said. “I had to do three two-liter bags a day and each one ran for four hours. It was very difficult. And of course you couldn’t go anywhere because there was always a risk of infection.”
“The wait was terrible because he was on dialysis; just terrible,” said his wife, Gwen. “It was hard on him. He was on home dialysis which is a little different method. With [hemodialysis] they put you on the machines for about four hours and filter your blood; but the peritoneal dialysis is different, it’s where you have a hole in the belly and they have a tube that cleans it out.”
Wallot remained hopeful. With his blood type being AB negative it wasn’t difficult to move up the waiting list.
“It’s almost a universal recipient I have so I can take type A, type B, or type O,” he said.
Finally his days of waiting end exhaustive dialysis were over.
On June 29, 2009, at about 3 a.m. he entered surgery at The Ohio State University Transplant Center for a kidney transplant.
After his surgery much of his vigor was restored and for several weeks he was beginning to get his life back.
“I felt great,” he said. Until he contracted a virus from the kidney itself.
“That almost killed me. I was really sick and I had to have blood transfusions and a lot of medicines,” said Wallot. “But I’m doing well now. I was sick all last winter and in and out of the hospital. It took a long time to get rid of that virus. The virus is very common, it’s the one that causes mononucleosis — the kissing disease — and normally most people are exposed to that but I was not. I had no immunity against it, and of course the immunity suppressive drugs made it that much worse.”
But Wallot has no regrets about getting the transplant, and proudly acclaims, “It has made life so much easier.”
As his health steadily improves, Wallot limits travel to public places and stays at home. “But that won’t be forever,” he said.
“Donating truly is the gift of life and God bless every single person that donates. It makes all the difference in the world,” said Wallot. “Truly a miracle.”