A son’s gift

El Paso County Commissioner David Stout is out of town this week and next, but he’s hardly on vacation. He’s preparing to donate one of his kidneys to his 71-year-old father, also named David.

This week, Commissioner Stout will undergo pre-op testing, including screening for COVID-19, at a Denver hospital. He plans to work remotely every day, just as he’s been doing since mid-March.

The surgery is scheduled for next Monday. Stout says he probably won’t work that week, but he hopes to be back home and working by July 13.

Stout’s father has been on a transplant list for a year, with kidney function at barely 18%. When he was a young man, a misdiagnosed and untreated infection spread to his kidneys, and he’s had health issues ever since.

Stout said without a transplant, his father would have to go on dialysis, further diminishing his quality of life, and it can only be used for a few years.

Stout’s mother and sister were willing to be kidney donors, but neither qualified. Last October, the commissioner started the process, and in January, he was told he was a match. The surgery was set for April.

Then the pandemic intervened. Surgery was off until further notice. Then two months ago, the surgery was back on, and the family picked the first date available, July 6.

As Stout wrote, “My fiancée and I plan on being married on Sept. 26 (pandemic permitting), and we wanted to make sure my dad could be present, so, the sooner the better.”

Stout says the decision was an easy one for him, but his father wasn’t convinced. “He expressed his concerns with possibly hindering my health if something were to go wrong.” After much discussion, the family finally convinced him.

Stout says it’s the least he can do. “For me, my dad is a model and example and the things he has done for me, my two sisters and our kids and provided us over the years are worth a thousand kidneys.”

Stout says his father deserves to have a healthy life, enjoy his retirement and watch his five grandchildren grow up. And there may be more grandchildren, once Stout and his fiancée are married.

“We love him and are not ready to let him go,” Stout wrote.


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