Double-transplant patient doing well after procedure - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Double-transplant patient doing well after procedure

(Source: Raycom) (Source: Raycom)

Tony Fetner was a healthy, happy child until he was in 6th grade in 1980.  He was suddenly really sick and thirsty.

"I didn't have any energy for about two weeks and kept going back and forth to the doctor, and they just couldn't figure out what was wrong with me," Fetner said.

He says he passed out and was taken to the emergency room, where one doctor had a suspicion.

"He tested my blood sugar and it was over 900. And that's when they discovered my problem."

Life changed for the newly diagnosed diabetic. Though the changes were major, he led a pretty healthy life for many years.  

"In 2004 I started getting tingling in my feet, and that's when the neuropathy started. By 2008 I started noticing spots in my left eye. By 2010 I had gone blind in my left eye."

He also developed high blood pressure.  

Tony had to retire from the Hartselle Police Department. In May he was diagnosed with double pneumonia and low functioning kidneys. With health issues mounting, his doctor made a recommendation.   

"He told me they did a pancreas/kidney transplant and I'd never heard of it."

His wife, Yvonne says as her husband's health declined, even their son took new responsibilities.

"He would be outside playing with his friends and he always would always stop and say, I got to go check on my dad.  I'll be right back and he would come inside to check and see that his sugar hadn't bottomed out."

The next stop? UAB, where Tony says he was placed on a transplant list.

"On Easter morning, we were walking out the door to go to church and the phone rang."

His surgery was 24 hours later. 

He says life now is like a new awakening.  He is no longer diabetic. "No more headaches, and worrying about... I got to eat now,  I can eat when I want to."

Anytime there's a major trauma like this one in a a family, there's usually something that holds the family together and keeps them on track.   Yvonne says it's the same for them.

"Prayer and support from our family and friends. I mean, God sent us the kidney and the pancreas exactly when we needed it."

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