Joshua Goodman has a wife, sons, a home in Oxford, a business, and “a full life.” But he’s preparing for the worst. The kidney transplanted into his body 19 years ago is now failing. The 48-year-old active father who grew up in Lynnfield is racing against time, hoping to find a donor before the illness overtakes him.
“He’s on the transplant list,” said his mother, Donna Goodman, from her Peabody home. “You can wait [three to] five years, there’s so much demand for organs.”
Goodman graduated from Lynnfield High School and Johnson & Wales University in Providence. He had his bar mitzvah at Temple Beth Shalom (now Temple Tiferet Shalom) with Rabbi Burton Padoll and then studied Torah at the temple’s Monday Night School.
It was when he was working as an executive sous-chef in Orlando, Fla., that he noticed he could not keep up the grueling, physically demanding hours.
“I was supposed to be the boss and I was inexplicably and overwhelmingly tired,” Goodman said.
A blood test revealed that both kidneys were failing. He was put on dialysis for nine months until a donor – a perfect match – was found, from a 62-year-old Midwestern farmer who had died. The kidney lasted much longer than expected – 19 years. During that time, Goodman has climbed the highest peaks in New Hampshire and kept up his health and his spirits.
Goodman knew the day that he would be searching for a new kidney would come.
He’ll be able to do dialysis from home likely five nights a week so it will be more manageable than before.
“I’m told people feel a lot better [with new dialysis procedures]. I’m hoping to be able to work during the week,” he said.
Five years ago, Goodman established his own business, Pinnacle Unemployment Services and Consulting, just over the border in Connecticut. He’s moving the business to Worcester to be in a more urban setting.
Goodman is reaching out to relatives, friends, and anyone who would consider being tested to see if they are a match. His brother and uncle were rejected for health reasons as was his mother when she sought to be a match for the first kidney.
Potential donors must take a blood test, stress test, EKG, and a CAT scan. Goodman’s health insurance will pay for the donor’s surgery and testing. The hospital stay “should be fairly quick – one night,” with recovery of two to three weeks. “Then, the donor should be able to function normally,” he said.
His first kidney operation lasted 12 hours because of complications.
“These days, with a live donor, there is a laparoscopic procedure to remove a kidney. The surgeon makes a three-inch incision and it’s a much shorter operation,” Goodman said.
Goodman would like to speak with anyone interested in donating a kidney. He may be reached at 860-548-6215.