DALLAS — Jason Smith, 44, tells people his life was saved twice.
"I lost 150 pounds to get a new kidney, and I'm excited to start my new life," he said.
Four years ago, Smith went to the hospital with pain, and was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease. He started dialysis that same week, continuing it three times a week for four years.
"Dialysis does take a lot out of you, and the longer you go, the more it takes out of you," said Smith. He said he had little energy, and put on a lot of weight. Smith weighed more than 350 pounds.
Smith said dialysis felt like a second job. He decided he wanted a change in his life and made an appointment at Medical City Dallas to talk about a kidney transplant.
Dr. Christie Gooden, a transplant surgeon, told him he needed to lose weight in order to qualify for the transplant list. She put him in touch with Dr. Christopher Bell, a bariatric surgeon.
Soon, Smith received gastric sleeve surgery. His stomach was decreased by 20 percent. From there, he needed to work hard and lose weight.
Within six months, he lost enough weight to qualify for the transplant list. Smith is now down 150 pounds.
In August, he received a kidney transplant, and his recovery has been great. Smith's energy levels are high, he can spend all day active with his son, and feels like he has a fresh start to his life.