Gift of life: Dallas teen celebrating first holiday with a new kidney

CITZENS VOICE |  Annie Butkiewicz

MARK MORAN / THE CITIZENS’ VOICE The Schukraft family at their Dallas home. Seated from left, Heidi and Scott Schuktaft; and standing, Andrew and Alaina Schuktaft. Andrew, 17, received a new kidney in February.

DALLAS — The holiday season for many means gift shopping, swapping and tree decorating; but this year, 17-year-old Dallas resident Andrew Schukraft celebrates his first holiday with a new kidney.

The holidays were interrupted for Schukraft last year by procedures to manage kidney disease.

In August 2015 a routine sports physical for the soccer team at Wyoming Seminary Prep School brought attention to high blood pressure.

“It was kind of surprising to us that his blood pressure was high,” Schukraft’s mom, Heidi said.

Previously, Andrew didn’t have many health problems. But a family history of kidney problems prompted more tests. Schukraft was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy, which meant that he needed to go on dialysis and steroids to filter his blood and keep inflammation down. Schukraft was pulled out of sports and school activities and put on a restrictive diet — low sodium, phosphorous and potassium — and went to dialysis treatments three times a week. Continue reading