ST. PAUL (KMSP) - Jere Solinger has been a music teacher at Maxfield Elementary School in St. Paul for the last 11 years, but for the last 11 months he's been in the fight of his life. Now he hopes someone out there can be the ray of hope he's looking for.
Ever since he first saw the Beatles in 1963, music has been Solinger's constant companion.
"I've been a guitar player and I want to be one again,” the music lover said. And not being able play his beloved instruments does more than just tug at his heart strings.
“I'm looking forward. Going to try to make these instruments sing again."
Solinger was hospitalized last April after an infection spread to his blood, causing his major organs to start shutting down. Within 24 hours, he was in coma and the septic shock caused him to lose circulation to his hands and feet. That eventually led to both his legs being amputated below the knee.
"I was very accepting. I realized that there wasn't much I could do about it. I had to roll with the punches and that's what I've been doing."
Since waking up in the hospital, Solinger has crossed some major milestones.He has taken his first steps with his prosthetic legs. But it was returning to Maxfield Elementary for the first time to see his music students the he says was his most fulfilling moment.
Solinger still has to go to dialysis three times a week. However doctors tell him he is strong enough for a kidney transplant and is now looking for a donor.
"That would be another milestone. That would change my life. It would be so huge."
Always looking to music for comfort, Solinger has decided, fittingly, a Beatle’s song will become his unofficial theme song.
"I'm getting better all the time. There's a Beatles song that has that line it and that's the case. I'm getting stronger every day."
Solinger is now waiting for the kidney match that could change his life.
"It’s the hugest gift I could imagine from someone and it would mean the world to me. It would be like a new beginning."
Explore kidney donation at umnhealthlivingdonor.org