News

Actions

Opelousas father prepares to donate kidney to 6-year-old son 

Posted: 12:03 PM, Jun 15, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-15 13:03:11-04

On Father’s Day, many children give their dads gifts, but for an Opelousas family, it’s the other way around this year. Jeremiah Jenkins is donating his kidney to his 6-year-old son and says he is willing to do anything for his family.

Jeremiah and his son J.J. share similar traits, including the same name. The name J.J. is short for Jeremiah, Jr. The two also share a major struggle. 

"He was actually born with a condition called posterior urethral valve blockage," Jeremiah said. "A blockage in his bladder wall eventually caused urine to back up into the kidneys while he was in the womb. It damaged the kidneys permanently."

J.J.’s mother Happy added, "I can truly say it’s been heartbreaking. Before I had a son with this congenital abnormality, I had never experienced [these] aches in my heart."  

J.J. has battled the condition his whole life. His family and father have been with him every step of the way. 

J.J. said he would "get shots" at the hospital. "They hurted, but my daddy hold me, so I won’t cry." 

His father added, "When he was in the hospital, I saw his little body turn blue one time after a surgery. To see that happen, it was so scary at that moment." 

When J.J. was born, doctors tested for possible donors. They found a perfect match: his dad.

"It was no question about it," Jeremiah said. "I would be the one to do it if I was a match." 

The two will have surgery the day after Father’s Day. 

"I’m going to be feeling better," J.J. said. 

"A father will do anything for his child to survive, live and have the best life that they can. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for him," his dad said.