Nathan Bushey recovering from lifesaving transplant

Steve Sharratt
Published on March 10, 2016

Nathan Bushey is an outspoken advocate of dialysis needs in the eastern Kings area and a strong advocate of equal health care services at the Souris hospital. Bushey, 32, is recovering from a recent kidney transplant.

©Screen grab from Guardian video

FORTUNE BRIDGE — When life hands you a new kidney, sometimes you just need a tomato sandwich.

That’s how Nathan Bushey felt after his ordeal was over and he finally made it home and to hug his dog Habby.

“Oh yeah, I have so missed eating tomatoes,’’ said the 32 year old now recovering from a recent kidney transplant. “I couldn’t eat them before and it was great to taste them again.”

Not to mention getting to hug his beagle hound cross who has spent plenty of time at an indoor kennel while Bushey has been dealing with the appointments and blood tests leading up to the big day.

“I’m feeling great, but it’s an ongoing process and I’m not really out of the woods,’’ he said in an interview. “The first few months of accepting the change are crucial and if I make a year, there’s smoother sailing.”

Bushey, who ran for the NDP in the last provincial election, is an outspoken advocate of dialysis needs in the eastern Kings area and a strong advocate of equal health care services at the Souris hospital. He was one of the voices that changed government’s mind when it planned to close the Souris unit and transfer all dialysis patients to Charlottetown for treatment.

He’s been a dialysis patient since Aug. 2011 and on a donor list for a new kidney for years.

“You just get a call one day to come right away,’’ he said describing the incident which got the process rolling.

He had the transplant in Halifax on Feb. 5 and is now going through the tests and challenges of his body accepting something completely foreign.

“Getting a transplant is really only a form of treatment,” he said. “It could last months or even years because the body will attack the new organ over time. However, it feels great to have a new one I’m now able to get back to some kind of regular life and routine.”

Bushey was born with only one functioning kidney and told it would not become an issue. But four and half years ago the one kidney couldn’t take the load anymore and led him down the dialysis road.

“I didn’t start to feel like I was recovering until I had a few weeks of sleeping under my belt,’’ he said. “And I guess my celebration was simply getting home again and back in my own bed. I found how much I just appreciated the small stuff…it’s the little things that are so important.

Things like hugging his dog Habby or taking a shower as he figures out his next move.

“I’m tossing around ideas whether to do a combination of work and school or just focus on school,’’ he said. “Anyway, we’ll see what happens.”

Bushey is well known for his vivacious demeanour and he said the activity of running in a provincial election and advocating for social justice was both invigorating and energy zapping.

“I think one of the best things for me is all the food I can eat now ……like that tomato sandwich.”