A 45-year-old Pasco man who was awaiting a new kidney is recovering after a successful transplant surgery.
Tanaka Modoc had the transplant on June 30 at Virginia Mason hospital in Seattle.
He’s been discharged from the hospital, but will stay in Seattle for a while longer to be near his doctors as he recovers.
He could be cleared to head home at the end of the month, said his wife, Darla, in a phone interview from Seattle.
“Everything is going really well,” she said.
Modoc’s donor — a friend from the Tri-Cities — also successfully came through the transplant operation.
Vaughn Jensen, 46, of Benton City, was cleared to return to the Tri-Cities about a week after the surgery.
He offered to be tested as a possible kidney donor for Modoc not long after the two friends met a couple years ago.
Becoming eligible for testing required effort and commitment. Jensen had already quit drinking, but he started exercising and eating better and shed about 30 pounds.
Jensen couldn’t be reached Friday. But he told the Herald last month that, “I believe God puts us in this world to do things. I believe this is one of the reasons I was born — to give this kidney to him.”
Modoc, who spent 20-plus years as a pipe fitter before medically retiring, experienced kidney failure three years ago because of polycystic kidney disease, a genetic condition in which cysts develop within the kidneys. In February of this year, Modoc’s kidneys were removed altogether.
Before the transplant, Modoc talked with the Herald about his excitement. He’d been tied to dialysis since his kidneys failed, and “Vaughn is letting me out of jail. He’s letting me have freedom. I’ll be free again,” he said.
Darla Modoc said she and her husband miss their kids back home and look forward to being able to return to the Tri-Cities as soon as possible.
They’re grateful to the Virginia Mason staff, to friends and family.
“We are forever grateful that he was able to give my husband life,” Darla told the Herald.
“We’re very grateful and we can’t wait to get back home,” she said.