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Father of 6 children, kidney donor receives a transplant

PULASKI, Wis. (WBAY/Gray News) — A Wisconsin man in need of a miracle kidney donation received a transplant on Friday.

Joe Schmidt, a 38-year-old husband and father of six, learned about 18 months ago that his only kidney was failing.

He had donated a kidney to his sister in 2008. The siblings have a rare, genetic form of chronic kidney disease.

“When I donated to my sister, I was 21, 22 and they did all the tests,” he said. “I was in good health. They did not know about this autoimmune disease.

The family took to social media with the “Save Our Daddy” campaign to share Schmidt’s story in hopes someone would volunteer to be his donor.

Joe Schmidt’s family launched the “Save Our Daddy” campaign to find a kidney donor.

Schmidt’s wife posted on Facebook that they received a call from the Mayo Clinic on Thursday saying they had a young donor kidney for Joe.

“We quickly packed up our six kids and our dog, dropped off with friends and grandparents, and raced to Minnesota full of emotions,” Angela Schmidt wrote.

After a series of tests, the family was told the kidney was a good fit for them and they were ready for surgery. It was a success.

Joe Schmidt thanked WBAY reporter Emily Matesic after the surgery for sharing his story.

“We got the call yesterday and got a cadaver kidney. The surgery went well and the kidney seems to be working!” he said via text. without all the prayers we have received in the past few days!”


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