Social media helps Army veteran find perfect kidney match

- FOX 46 Charlotte is getting results for Edmund Baines, the Army veteran driving around with a sign on his truck looking for a kidney donor. FOX 46 helped him find a kidney donor but the station is now looking into why he’s still waiting on the kidney.

He recently celebrated Father’s Day with his grandchildren, just one of many days Baines is thankful to see.

“It’s just not knowing anything at all, every day you wake up you’re wondering when, when, when,” Baines said. 

Through social media and a national call to action FOX 46 Charlotte helped Baines find a kidney donor. A woman in California was found to be a perfect match. However, more than a month later he’s still waiting to have the transplant.

Related: Veteran in search of kidney donor says, "I'm not giving up, I never will'

“You know the hospitals aren’t saying much to me about what is going on and I’m wondering what is taking so long,” Baines explained. 

FOX 46 reached out to a living donor coordinator at Wake Forest Hospital where Baines hopes to have the transplant. The station was told his case is unique for several reasons, the donor lives on the west coast and for now, she can’t fly. Baines said, “She had foot surgery June 13 and they don’t want her to fly because she might get blood clots.” 

The LDC said the testing process, normally takes two to four months. Then, scheduling the transplant takes a month on average. In Baines’ case, it could take much longer. He said he’s stays in good spirits because of the support he’s received but he wishes he didn’t have limitations.

“I would like to be around family a little bit more in Maryland. I’m missing a lot of events right now because I can’t go. I don’t want to go because they can call me at any minute or something like that. I just can’t go anywhere, I can’t do anything," he said. 

One thing he is doing is going back to school. He plans to attend Central Piedmont Community College to become a Respiratory Therapist. He wanted to attend school last year but was unable to sign up because he underwent open-heart surgery.

In the meantime, Baines is still sporting his donor sign while heading to another round of dialysis.

“It’s frustrating at times but, you know, I lift my head up and keep going, that’s all I can do. I lift my head up and keep going,” Baines said. 

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