THE LANDMARK | Amanda Collins Bernier
Looking for a kidney, Sterling firefighter promotes organ donation awareness
|David Johnson at the Sterling Fire Department. Amanda Collins Bernier photo|
STERLING – As a dad of three girls, a self-employed contractor, and a man who’s spent decades on the Sterling Fire Department, it’s safe to say that David Johnson has a good heart.
It’s his kidneys that are the problem.
In 1987 Johnson was involved in a crane accident at work that resulted in constant headaches and the need for pain medications to control them. That medication, he believes, had an irreversible effect on his kidney function. By 1989 he was seeing a nephrologist for chronic kidney disease.
Medications for high blood pressure have kept many of the symptoms at bay, but still, the disease has progressed over the years, slowly creeping from Stage 2 to Stage 3 as the decades passed. At Stage 3, about half of kidney function has been lost.
Last June, his disease was advanced to Stage 4.
“Stage 5 is kidney failure,” said Johnson, “and there’s no time-frame to when it gets there.” Continue reading