ATWATER VILLAGE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A young Atwater Village father of two has a warning for everyone of all ages: unchecked high blood pressure can silently destroy your kidneys.
Ian DeLoach needs a new kidney. But how does this happen to someone so young and so fit? Seven years ago, at the age of 33, DeLoach tested his blood pressure with a home device just for fun. It was through the roof. He immediately went to a doctor where he also learned he had stage 3 kidney disease.
"And even the doctor said 'you're too young'," Susan said.
High blood pressure is called the silent killer because the signs are subtle.
"I had no idea," DeLoach said. "I would occasionally get a headache, but everybody would occasionally get a headache."
Unchecked hypertension is a common cause of kidney failure, according to Dr. Anthony Cardillo with Adventist Health.
Symptoms include headaches, blurry vision, intermittent chest pains, weakness and dizziness.
"The kidneys are made up of a lot of small very delicate blood vessels and that high blood pressure damages those blood vessels," Cardillo said.
DeLoach is dependent on dialysis to stay alive until he finds a donor.
"I can wait for my name to come up on the list, which can be 8 to 10 years, or we can try to find my own private donor and that's what we're are trying to do," he said.
DeLoach needs a donor with O type blood.
"I wish more people would consider giving others the gift of life," he said.
DeLoach's wife works two jobs to keep her family afloat. For now, she's focused on her kids and getting her husband well.
"I know when he gets a new kidney, it's going to be a new start to life and we're never going to let it get to the point where we don't know what's going on inside of his body," she said.
Click here to learn more about the family's struggle and click here to learn how to register to be a donor.
Atwater Village father of 2 seeking organ donor after being diagnosed with kidney failure at age 33
CIRCLE OF HEALTH