COVINGTON, LA (WVUE) - This time of year many of us have a Christmas wish.
But Patrick Duplessis of Covington is looking for a gift that would truly make the holiday complete for him and his family. At 43, his kidneys are failing, and he needs a transplant.
He was diagnosed with kidney disease three years ago.
Duplessis is a father of seven boys, six of whom still live at home. The daily grind of dialysis treatments are taking a toll on him and his family, and he is starting to lose hope a donor can be found.
"I think that's the hardest thing. The wait. Because the longer you wait, you kind of lose hope," Patrick said.
"We try to have as much faith as we can- and try to know it's not anything that we did, we're not being punished. But sometimes it kind of does come to your mind," his wife Chasity explained.
The treatment Patrick undergoes on a daily basis at home is grueling, but it is a routine he must do each day if he wants to survive.
The process leaves him exhausted and unable to carry out daily tasks around the house. Patrick says it is not in his makeup to stand pat. He is an Army veteran.
"You try to be active as much as you can, but it kind of takes a toll on you and you can't," he said. "Just keeping up with the boys, even that's hard on a daily basis."
He has no other option except to get a transplant if he wants his life back.
"There's no "do dialysis, and a year later you'll be fine'- I have to get a transplant," he said.
But that kidney is nowhere to be found just yet. Patrick's name appears on a list of hundreds of people locally, needing a transplant.
Patrick says the waiting list has a way of bringing people to their knees.
"I've seen, so many people at the clinic that give up. They say, 'I'm not going to do this anymore. I can't do dialysis. I can't sit there and go through this.' And I've seen people just stop coming."
But not Patrick, and not without a fight. The Duplessis family created a Facebook page titled, kidney4 Patrick, and they put a homemade classified ad in window paint on the family truck.
They hope perhaps someone, somewhere, either online, at a stop light, a grocery store parking lot, or a highway might see a family's cry for help and respond.
For this family, finding a match means everything.
"It'll mean getting our lives back. You know- giving our boys a whole father again," Chasity said.
If you want to help Patrick Duplessis, or to see if you are a candidate to be his kidney donor, contact the transplant coordinator at Ochsner at (504) 842-3925, You'll need to provide his date of birth - July 2, 1973. For more on how to help Patrick Duplessis, click here.