Waiting for the call: Tomah area man in need of kidney transplant

35-year-old Tyler Lamb was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy more than two years ago, might have to wait for transplant for up to five years

WARRENS, Wis. (WKBT) РYou sometimes think everything is A-OK in regards to your health.

You have no medical history and you continue to go about your life.

That was mostly how things were going for a Tomah area man until he was made aware of a life-changing event two years ago.

On some days, 35-year-old Tyler Lamb feels hopeful.

“I’m doing OK, you know,” Tyler said. “I got pretty good spirits.”

On others, he feels hope less.

“Some days I get down for sure,” Tyler said.

Just waiting, that maybe one day, he’ll get the call.

“It’s like this is never going to happen, but you just got to get through that day,” he said. “And tomorrow is a new day.”

Tyler is not very active right now.

“Watch a lot of TV I guess,” he said. “And once in a while, I do take the bike out, but I pay for it. Like the next day, I’m really tired.”

His mom, Linda Martin, says it never used to be this way.

“He was a very active man,” Linda said. “Worked at Toro full-time for many, many years…Everything that he used to do, he pretty much can’t do anymore.”

It’s all because of the news he got on March 4, 2019, that leaves Tyler thinking deeply.

“We found out that his kidneys were basically shot,” Linda said.

Tyler was diagnosed with a kidney disease known as IgA nephropathy, or Berger’s disease.

“They don’t know why I have it,” Tyler said. “The doctors have no idea.”

He is filled with physical and emotional pain that gets worse each day.

“Even this last weekend, he couldn’t even eat,” Linda said. “I made him a grilled cheese, ate half of that, and he got sick from that.”

Tyler has been on the waiting list for a kidney transplant at UW Health in Madison for about six months. He and his mom were told he could be waiting for up to five years.

“I know, sometimes I wish, you know, we would know,” Linda said. “Like, is there active people coming up there because I’ll start, you know, begging or whatever more. I’ll do whatever I can to give my son a gift of life. So, yeah.”

And the clock on his life is ticking away.

“They just pretty much tell you it can happen tomorrow, or like in six years,” Tyler said on when he could get a transplant. “There’s no set date. They don’t tell you anything.”

Mayo Clinic Health System’s Anja Drogseth says organ donations are hard to plan for.

“But it’s something that can be hugely rewarding and generous to do,” Drogseth said. “And one person in donating organs can save eight lives.”

Linda will do whatever it takes to get her son his biggest need.

“Once that’s over, I’m still going to keep going just for people that need it,” she said. “There’s so many people out there that need kidneys.”

But until that time comes, all Tyler can do is wait for the call.

“Just one day at a time, I guess,” he said. “And sooner or later, get my life back.”

Tyler has been living on dialysis since his diagnosis.

He has a B-negative blood type, but can accept kidneys that have B-positive, O-positive or O-negative blood.

If you want to help Tyler out, you can visit here for more information.

According to the Living Kidney Donors Network, there are more than 93,000 people on the waiting list for a kidney transplant.