Health

Central Texas man gives father his kidney, saying it was his time to ‘step up to the plate’

Father and son Edward and Eric Diggs

Father and son Edward and Eric Diggs have always been close.

“He’s very special. I knew that he was that way because he had a kind heart,” said Harker Heights Resident Edward Diggs.

His son feels the same way about him.

“He’s always been there for me. He’s been with me through all the good times and all the bad times,” said Eric.

But now that bond is even closer since Eric saved his father’s life.

“I consider that a blessing, for him to have such a giving heart,” said Edward.

Retired Sergeant 1st Class Edward Diggs was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in the 1980s while in the Army. Since then, he’s taken several treatments which then led to liver problems.

In 2006, he changed treatments but found a different problem.

“After MRIs and test and everything my liver is doing fine. But it did damage my kidneys which caused me to go to renal failure,” said Edward.

Three years ago, Edward’s condition got worse. He was put on dialysis, but that didn’t work either.

“I was talking to my mom and she say how my dad’s health was declining. She’d say how he had cramps all over his body and how his skin would itch but it’s not something you could scratch, because it’s underneath the skin,” said Eric.

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Once he learned his father would need a donor, without hesitation Eric offered to give his kidney.

“Your parents they take care of you, they love you, they teach you how to live in this world when it comes time for them. When it comes time for them to need you … step up to the plate,” said Eric.

Edward said the last thing he wanted as a father was to ask this of his son.

“I didn’t want to take my son’s kidney but then he said it will be an honor,” said Edward.

COVID delayed the procedure even though they were a perfect match. Finally, in August they were able to successfully carry out the surgery.

Edward said he loves his entire family and he’s blessed that one of them saved his life.

“God gave his life for all of us. My son was able to give a part of him to help me live a quality life. I think that’s amazing I really do,” said Edward.

Eric and Edward would like to thank their wives who were their caregivers.

They also want to thank the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston and their family for standing by their side.

Written by Jarell Baker

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