Utah man searches for kidney donor

Posted at 11:03 PM, Jan 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-28 01:03:16-05

SALT LAKE CITY--A Utah man is searching for a kidney donor after he discovered his kidneys were on the brink of failing.

James Humphreys said his need for a kidney has made him think hard about the priorities in his life.

“I’ve made and lost lots of money, and that is just irrelevant,” he said. “All that matters is the time I do have I use as productively as possible.”

Humphreys is well-known to many of Utah’s top politicians, as he works in the high-stakes, high-stress world of political campaigning, but now he faces stress of a different kind.

Humphreys said he never thought about his kidneys, until about four months ago when he went to the doctor after experiencing blurry vision.  He said his doctor said he was worried about some test results but didn’t get specific, just set him up with two specialists.

“I went, and I sat down with my nephrologist, who handles kidneys and that, and he said, ‘you are very sick,’ and I went, ‘I’m very what?’” Humphreys said.

Humphreys is only 39 years old, but he doesn’t have much time to find a donor, which is a scary prospect.

“Scared?” he said. “Yeah, I’ve been scared to death several times. You know, I didn’t realize all this was going on, and I had no idea. My body did such a great thing in adjusting to compensate and continue to live, that it could have just given up at any minute.”

Humphreys said all he can do now is wait.

“I’ve done everything I can physically do already in a very short period of time, and there’s nothing else to do except wait on someone else,” he said. "I’m completely at the mercy and the gratitude of other people. It’s a humbling experience.”

Humphreys said he wanted it to be clear that he has a lot of support and good insurance. He’s not asking for a handout, but he does hope people will look into what it takes to become an organ donor.

Fox 13 News will be following Humphreys in the coming weeks as he faces the challenge of finding a kidney donor.   

Those interested in helping out can contact Sarah Scutts, who is the donor coordinator for the University Hospital Kidney Transplant Program, at 801-585-3202.

For more information about kidney transplants, visit the links below.

University of Utah Health Care Kidney Transplant Program

Intermountain Health Care Kidney Transplant Program