Wood County Employee Receives New Kidney - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/31/06-Wood County

Wood County Employee Receives New Kidney

The past two years have been full of big changes for one East Texan. About a year and a half ago, Tyson Oaks of Quitman started working for the Wood County Sheriff's Department. Six months later, his wife gave birth to a little girl, but in December Tyson received the most shocking news of all, his kidneys were failing and he was going to need a kidney transplant. Last week he received some news that came much sooner than expected.

"You really don't do a lot of physical stuff and that's pretty much why I was able to do my job," said Tyson Oaks. "We do a lot of talking to the inmates." 28-year-old Tyson works the night shift as a jailer for the Wood County Sheriff's Department. At times, Tyson says it's hard working with inmates, but one of the hardest things for him was hearing he was going to need a kidney transplant.

"Usually it's around the age of 40 to 60, so being 28 and you know having chronic kidney failure is not very common at all," said Tyson.

"I really couldn't believe it," said Brandy Oaks, Tyson's wife. "I mean at his age I didn't expect those kind of problems." In December, one of his kidneys quit working.. The other one, hardly worked at all.

"You feel real weak, tired," said Tyson. "Can't really get yourself motivated to do anything." Last week, Tyson received a phone call from ETMC in Tyler. They had a kidney that could be his.

"Okay, I don't have nothing going on," said Tyson. "I'm not working today, so let's go ahead and head on over there." Two hours later, the kidney was his.

"She comes in and says hey how would you like a kidney today," said Tyson. "I'm not going to turn her down."

"I couldn't believe it," said Brandy. "We have only been waiting just a couple of months and some people wait years." Tyson's wife, Brandy, has this advice.

"Don't ever hesitate to give someone else life," said Brandy. "It's a big step, it really is. It's a very big step, but you really don't know how that can help someone." Tyson's new kidney came from someone in Dallas who decided to donate his organs when he died.

"My heart goes out to the family," said Tyson. "Thanks just isn't enough." Someone Tyson never knew gave him the greatest gift of all. The gift of life.

Tyson says it will probably be a couple of months before he can return to work, but he already feels much better. He also says his co-workers at the Wood County Sheriff's Department have been very supportive. Some of them have set up a donation fund in Tyson Oaks' name at Bank Texas in Quitman. The money will go toward Tyson's medical bills.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

Powered by Frankly