After days in the hospital following a kidney transplant, 44-year-old Jim Gorbunow said he's looking forward to a hot, home-cooked meal and spending time with his wife, but he's more motivated than ever to help others in need to find their own match.
Gorbunow is a little sore and he says he could use a shower, but more importantly, he has another chance at life. Gorbunow is recovering from his second kidney transplant, a replacement for one that started to fail after 15 years in his body. On Saturday, he received a call from the University of Minnesota for a potential kidney that could save his life. Gorbunow was told he was third in line for the kidney. However, the two people in front of him were waiting for double transplants, and he only needed one. After several hours of waiting, the doctors shared the good news. The donor kidney, from a 20-year-old who died from heart failure in Chicago, would be his.
A different kidney could be to thank. His 7-foot snow kidney named Kevin helped him garner national attention. For the past couple winters, he built one on the front lawn, hoping to bring attention to his need, but he never found a match. Inspired by his wife, Jennie who has been there every step of the way.
"He's stronger than a lot of people I have ever met," she said.
The first Kevin has now melted away, but Gorbunow said next winter, he'll be at it again making something bigger and better than ever for others to draw attention to the need for more donors.
The next week will be critical for Gorbunow as he heads back to the hospital daily for check-ups. There's still a chance his body will reject his new kidney, but he has a heck of a team of family and friends and they are going to help him power through.