VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach Navy veteran who fought in Afghanistan is now fighting for his health.
The retired sailor is battling end-stage renal disease and needs a new kidney.
Not only is there a wait list for kidney donors, the mounting medical bills are making it difficult to stay financially afloat.
Neil Adams and his wife are hoping someone might be able to help bring good news soon.
Adams served 20 years with the Navy, but several years after retiring, he’s now in the biggest battle of his life.
“I hadn’t had any other bad health issues over my years and to find out I was end-stage renal disease, I was devastated,” Adams said.
The veteran learned his kidneys were failing in summer of 2019. Since then, life hasn’t been the same.
His wife left her job as an insurance agent to help care for him. Adams now works from home, but it hasn’t been easy.
“Dialysis, I go three times a week and it’s about three and a half to three hours and 45 mins each time,” he said. “I’m just so tired but I just push on through because you know, we need the money.”
Adams is taking steps to get on the waiting list for a new kidney, but he said the wait is six years long for a deceased donor. His blood type is O negative making it even harder to find a match.
“It’s soul crushing thinking about it. I was like wow I got a lot of years ahead of me,” Adams said.
To add to their stress, the family said Adams is at risk of developing other health issues.
“It’s just hard,” said Shannon Conners, Adams’ wife. “I just want to keep pushing forward and get to the next step because like I said, we’re on borrowed time so I don’t have time to sit around and feel bad for myself. I want to make sure he’s taken care of.”
Adams hopes to find a living kidney donor, if possible.
“Getting a live donor is our best option right now,” Conners said.
Until then, they’re staying optimistic.
“I’m getting through the days by enjoying the company of my family, you know. They keep me going,” said Adams.
Adams is trying to get on wait lists at multiple hospitals within a reasonable distance.
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