Cousin offers kidney to sick Superior totAs soon as he heard his 18-month-old cousin needed a kidney, Brett Beattie volunteered as a transplant donor.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
As soon as he heard his 18-month-old cousin needed a kidney, Brett Beattie volunteered as a transplant donor.
“He was one of the first to call in,” Dave Beattie said. He’s the father of Jackson Beattie, the child needing a kidney who was featured in stories last month surrounding the annual Duluth Kidney Walk. Jackson’s family is from Superior. His cousin’s family lives in the Twin Cities area.
“He was kind of sent to the back due to his age,” Dave Beattie said of the 20-year-old Brett.
But after unsuccessful matches, Brett came to the fore, Beattie said. There’s still a slight chance that the cousins won’t make a transplant match, but surgery is scheduled for July 12.
The family is grateful, Beattie said.
“It’s a weird feeling for me and Sarah,” he said. “Here’s a 20-year-old kid willing to give up half a kidney and half of his summer.”
While Brett could leave the hospital a few days after the transplant, he won’t be able to lift anything above 10 pounds for six weeks.
Jackson Beattie was born with kidney damage and — despite four operations and constant medications — he needs a new kidney as soon as possible.
The family’s Facebook site says it all: “Hope for Jackson Beattie. Jackson’s superhero is his 20-year-old cousin Brett Beattie,” the family wrote. “This means Jackson will probably be getting the best kidney he could ever get.”
Brett Beattie will be a junior at Iowa State this fall and is majoring in civil engineering.
“We are truly grateful and still can’t believe how extremely lucky Jackson is to have Brett in his life,” the family posted.
Dave Beattie told the News Tribune on Thursday night that his brother Tom’s son has always been “a good kid” and his generosity is no surprise.
Jackson was featured in news broadcasts and in a News Tribune story before the annual Duluth Kidney Walk last month. The “Keeping it Renal” team, consisting of the boy’s family and friends, raised $19,002.13 for the event. Jackson’s sister, Brooklyn, 8, was listed as one of the top 25 individual fundraisers nationwide.
Money raised from the walk will support a free kidney health screening in Duluth on Sept. 25; early detection programs; research, professional and patient education; and organ donation advocacy.
Although the July 12 transplant is scheduled, it isn’t a certainty. Two other donors have offered to give Jackson a kidney. But after being evaluated and approved, they got rejected because Jackson had developed more antibodies.
The family members will continue to post updates on Facebook.
And they will continue to thank Brett.
“They’ll have a special bond the rest of their lives,” Dave Beattie said.
The Superior Telegram contributed to the report.