Mahmoud Shmaitelly – Kidney Transplant Success Story

From dark night shifts to bright new days

undefinedA prison sentence. That’s how Mahmoud Shmaitelly refers to his 2½ years on kidney dialysis.

“You aren’t free because you have to be on that machine to stay alive,” he says.

Mahmoud’s original diagnosis of nephritis, or kidney inflammation, came in 1988 during routine medical screening for admittance to the American University of Beirut. For the next 23 years, the condition steadily degraded his kidney performance.

“By 43, I’d reached 90 percent deficiency and needed dialysis,” he says.

Waiting and hoping

Linda Canedy Mahmoud Shmaitelly, now free from dialysis, is grateful for the time he gets to spend with his wife, Nadin, and their children, Yesmeena, Ryan, and Adam.

Nadin Shmaitelly was willing to free her husband from dialysis by becoming a living donor. But the couple wanted to have another child and decided not to risk surgery for her. So

Mahmoud’s dialysis continued. For a time, Mahmoud, now living in Allen, found some escape in having his blood filtered at night. When he wasn’t hooked up to the machine, he tried to forget about the painful needles, the time lost.

Mahmoud’s first call for a potential transplant ended in disappointment: The kidney was not a match. But last April 18, another call came. And he and Nadin — then nearly nine months pregnant — cut a family vacation short and drove through the night to get to Methodist Dallas early Saturday morning to prepare for Mahmoud’s surgery that day.

“I was so happy that I didn’t care about the vacation,” he says, laughing. “Imagine 2½ years on dialysis, then somebody says you’re going to get a kidney. You wouldn’t wait!”

Less than two weeks after Mahmoud received his new kidney, the Shmaitelly family celebrated another new life: Baby Adam joined siblings Yesmeena and Ryan. Mahmoud is quick to thank everyone at Methodist Dallas who helped in his journey.

“My new kidney gave me the liberty to explore this stage of my life — to enjoy family life, get back to hobbies, and begin a new phase of my career. I’m a free man.”

From the winter 2014 issue of Shine magazine.