‘I still have my hopes’: Retired Henrico firefighter still searching for a kidney match

Updated: Nov. 17, 2020 at 5:36 PM EST
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HENRICO Co., Va. (WWBT) - With the holidays approaching, a retired Henrico firefighter is hoping he and his family can experience a miracle this season – a kidney match.

NBC12 first spoke with Grover Barnett in November 2019, but a lot has changed since then.

Barnett’s need for a left kidney has only increased during this global pandemic and his health has had its share of scares this year.

“Back in April I had to have some cardiac stints put in,” Barnett said.

The recovery from that procedure and recovery time put him on an inactive list for a kidney transplant. Even more recently, Barnett dealt with a bacteria infection in his blood which landed him in the hospital for 10 days and IV infusions at home.

“It’s been hard, but I still have my hopes for a kidney,” Barnett said.

Since the beginning of this month, the former Henrico firefighter who spent 35 years and one day with the county is back on the kidney transplant list and renewing his search for a match while staying humble.

“If I don’t get one, somebody else gets one,” Barnett said. “I know this has happened.”

One year ago, LAMAR advertising donated space on billboards across Richmond to help the family find a kidney match for Barnett.

Grover Barnett's family now has an advertisement on a billboard along I-195 as he searches for...
Grover Barnett's family now has an advertisement on a billboard along I-195 as he searches for a kidney match (Source: NBC12)(NBC12)

While that hasn’t happened yet, Barnett said those advertisements helped others at Henrico Doctors Hospital.

“They did tell me that they had made some transplants,” he added.

Now as Barnett and his family prepare for the holidays, they’re hoping to celebrate just one more thing this season - a match.

“Yes, that would be a miracle” Barnett and his wife said. “That would be a good way of having a Thanksgiving...”

Anyone who would like to help Barnett can call the Living Donor hotline at Henrico Doctors Hospital at (804) 289-4941 to get tested.

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