Facebook post leads to life-saving kidney transplant for Waterville native

Michael Bowles and Davine Grantz at one of their last pre-operation appointments at Maine Medical Center before the Aug. 9 transplant surgery. Contributed photo

CENTRAL MAINE | Lauren Abate

Nine months ago, all Waterville native Michael Bowles wanted for Christmas was a kidney.

After being diagnosed with kidney failure the year before, Bowles, 38, moved to Arizona for a job and was hit with some disheartening news a week after uprooting his life: His kidneys had essentially lost all function, and he was now in stage five, or end-stage, renal failure.

By trade Bowles is a special education teacher. But in stage five kidney failure, dialysis was becoming his part-time job. Bowles would spend four hours a day three times a week getting the treatment that would serve the function of removing toxins from his blood stream — what his kidneys were supposed to do.

Facing a five-year wait on the transplant list for a kidney from a deceased donor and an unsustainable way of life on dialysis, Bowles took to Facebook to put out one last plea for anyone willing to donate a kidney. The option of a family donation for Bowles wasn’t a possibility because of a family history of diabetes. Continue reading
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