Family raising money for son’s kidney transplant expenses

Published: Sep. 4, 2023 at 4:27 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Isaiah Johnson was diagnosed with kidney failure around three weeks old. After being added to the organ transplant list, his family hopes to raise money for lodging and transportation expenses.

Isaiah’s mother, Paula Bustillo, said she has stayed strong for her son since he was diagnosed early. She said she has been caring for him at home since then.

“He’s been on dialysis for about a year. When he was a small child back in 2008, he had a kidney transplant. Over the years, the kidney has gotten old and starting to wear out now,” Paula said.

Isaiah does nine hours of dialysis at home and has been put on the organ transplant list.

Isaiah’s dialysis treatment doesn’t come easy, according to his mother.

“I have to make sure that he gets hooked up properly to his dialysis machine ‘cause he does it here at home. I have to make sure he takes his medication on a daily basis. I have to make sure his exit site is cleaned on a daily basis, back and forth to the doctors twice a month for blood work to see the doctor,” Paula said.

His life isn’t the life of a normal 21 year-old.

“We can’t so certain things like being around large crowds because he’s prone to getting sick easily so majority of the the time we have to stay at home,” said Paula.

“Such as doing certain things like a job. He can’t do it unless he works a part-time job just a few hours and not a full-time job,” said Rodney William’s Isaiah’s stepfather.

The family is facing another issue, money. His family has to raise $10,000 to get a transplant once they get the phone call from his family.

“The first month is back and forth from the clinic three times a week for blood work, the second month is once a week and the third month is once every two weeks, and then we have to provide transportation back and forth from the motel to the clinic,” said Paula.

And there are more expenses.

“And then $800, for the medication that the insurance is not going to pay and the food for the food and stuff for the time that we’re there,” added Paula.

Both of Isaiah’s parents are ineligible to give him a kidney because of health issues.

There was a time when he had big dreams but due to his health, his dreams have changed.

“My dream was to go to the NBA but hey I tried...just keep trying just to make my family,” said Isaiah Johnson.

The family’s GoFundMe can be found here.

Stick News Channel 6 at 5:00 p.m. to cover more of this story.