First Father’s Day
In a few days, Pat Khumprakob will celebrate his first Father’s Day. This exciting rite of passage is made even more special to Pat and his family, because a transplant – a gift from a hero – made it possible.
When he was a teenager, Pat learned he had Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN), a condition that causes the immune system to attack the kidney. Pat always knew that a kidney transplant was in his future.
Pat was able to live with his condition and extend the life of his kidney until college when he started losing energy. He knew it was time to move forward with a transplant and his mother stepped up to be his donor.
“She always said she would donate,” said Pat. “We had ten years to prepare for this, and we were ready.”
Pat underwent a successful kidney transplant in November 2003 and, because his mother was able to donate so quickly, he was spared the rigors of dialysis. Not long after the transplant, Pat married his wife, Cherie, and began a fulfilling career producing video games.
Earlier this year, Pat became a father for the first time at the age of 30. He and his wife welcomed Gwen Christine into the world of February 4, her middle name a tribute to Pat’s mother, and kidney donor, Christine.
“Pat’s mom not only wanted to donate her kidney, but she felt honored to do so,” said Cherie. “I’ll never forget when she was being wheeled to the OR in the hospital. She wasn’t scared, but was beaming, saying that she was getting the chance to give life to her son for a second time, and not many people get that chance.”
The Khumprakobs are enjoying parenthood. “Being a parent is fun” said Pat. “It’s definitely a change but I love spending time with Gwen.”
Pat plans to celebrate his first Father’s Day by spending time with his family. His own father is flying in from Thailand for the occasion.
“I know how very lucky I am. I am lucky to be here,” said Pat of his kidney transplant.
He acknowledges that not all transplant candidates have a living donor who can step up for them and encourages other to register as donors.