Transplanting hope

Aspen Daily News | Chad Abraham

Overnight, Edward Drake went from dropping back in coverage to dropping into a hospital bed.

Once a cornerback and safety on Eastern Michigan University’s football team, the undergrad with NFL dreams took a blindside hit from his doctors in June 2006.

It was bewildering. He was in the prime shape of his life. Sure, he’d put on some weight, but Drake, then 20, said Friday that he believed it to be muscle mass. Instead, it was water weight, a symptom of a potentially fatal disease.

“During a routine physical, the doctors were shocked by my blood-pressure reading, which was 248 over 120,” Drake said. “I was immediately rushed to the hospital — they wouldn’t let me drive — and they started sticking tubes in me everywhere. That’s when I found out my kidneys had completely shut down.”

Dark days of tears and frustration followed. Why me? Why now? Continue reading