AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – One local family’s loss became the hope another family needed for their loved one. That family is the Allen family. NewsChannel 6 first met Rodriegus Allen at Augusta University Medical Center, a few days after he received a kidney. There was one thing on his mind. Eating.
“Chicken strips. Krispy Kreme,” he called out.
Just thinking about his favorite foods put a smile on his face, even in a hospital bed.
“Collard greens. Macaroni and cheese. Corn bread,” he continued to name.
And with Thanksgiving around the corner he’s even more excited. As families gather around their turkey filled tables, Allen will be sitting at his with his new kidney.
His wife, Toni Allen, will be by his side.
“When I met him he was already in kidney failure,” she told us. “He didn’t initially let me know that. It was his little secret.”
Toni Allen told NewsChannel 6 Rodriegus wasn’t even her boyfriend yet when he told her on their first date about why he needed dialysis.
“At that point I explained to him it’s me and you. From this point on we’re riding it out to the end.”
After the Allens married, Rodriegus was also diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He said genetics and undiagnosed high blood pressure are the reasons for his health problems.
“When I went to Myrtle Beach with my coworkers, I came back and tried to go to work and both of my legs were swollen,” he described.
Allen said he went into renal failure after his trip and that’s when the dialysis started. That was nine years ago and he’s been on a kidney transplant list since then.
And then a man was tragically killed.
“As we understand it he was a 19-year-old male who was struck by a vehicle and his parents decided to donate all of his organs,” Toni Allen told us.
Privacy laws restrict the Allens from knowing who the donor is, but Toni said she and her new husband, who is now step-dad to four children, are grateful. Augusta University Medical Center performed the kidney transplant and now Rodriegus has several months of recovery.
“Right now we’re in the healing process. [He has] Lots of walking, lots of breathing through the spirometer to keep the pneumonia out of his lungs. It’s going to be lots of doctor’s appointments, which he’s prepared. The challenging part about it now is him getting used to the medications,” she explained.
One thing that this couple won’t have to get used to is their love for each other. It’s already there. Rodriegus and Toni said along with eating their favorite meals, they have some traveling to do too.
“Probably Jamaica, Jamaica, Bahamas,” Rodriegus Allen said.
Rodriegus Allen is now home resting with his wife and kids. He had pizza for dinner, something he hasn’t been able to do in some time. Monday, a week after surgery, there will be no dialysis for the first time in nine years. Now, there is a lot of work to do and many appointments to attend before he heads back to work. To help the Allen family with those bills, click here.