Eric, loving father, husband, son, brother, uncle and wonderful friend to many, has been diagnosed with end stage renal failure. We are now in the process of getting on the list for a kidney transplant.
Eric has had Type I Diabetes since he was 14 years old. His diabetes has been well taken care of, he has never been hospitalized due to his condition. Eric was referred to a nephrologist about 11 years ago to monitor his kidney function. In the last 2 years, his kidney function has drastically declined and is now given the option of starting dialysis or going for a transplant in the near future. Eric’s diabetes is still well controlled and is actually even better since receiving his insulin pump, but unfortunately after years of being diabetic and increased blood pressure, his kidneys are starting to wear out.
Eric is an outdoors man and loves to get out any chance he can. Fishing is his passion (bass fishing to be exact but any type of fishing will do). So when given the option of dialysis vs transplant, we knew transplant would be our first choice as this would allow Eric to continue living his life with less limitations.
At this point, Eric has not had any symptoms of kidney failure and does not need to start dialysis. We are praying that he continues to do well and we can find a potential for him prior to needing to start dialysis.
Eric has also been told that he may be a potential candidate for kidney and pancreas transplant. The facility where Eric is currently doctoring, does not do pancreas transplants so we are looking into other facilities and discussing this option as well.
If you would like to know if you could be a donor contact Eric’s transplant coordinator, Charish WeelDreyer, RN by phone at 605-328-9290 or by email at [email protected]
Family and friends of Eric Storms are raising money for the nonprofit Help Hope Live to fund uninsured medical expenses associated with transplantation.
Eric has chosen to fundraise for Help Hope Live in part because Help Hope Live assures fiscal accountability of funds raised and tax deductibility for contributors. Contributors can be sure donations will be used to pay or reimburse medical and related expenses. To make a tax-deductible donation to this fundraising campaign, click on the Give button.
For more information, please contact Help Hope Live at 800.642.8399.
Thank you for your support!
January 25, 2021
Eric L Storms didn’t go sledding with the boys, but he made it outside to watch them play in the snow. Getting better everyday! Still not quite himself, he would have gone ice fishing somewhere if he was 100%. We usually can’t get him to sit still long enough to watch a movie when he could be fishing.
A few different labs this week and a trip back to the cities for a follow up appointment. We are praying everything is healing well. Eric is looking forward to feeling “normal” again.
January 12, 2021
Eric had a very welcoming homecoming. Eric is part of our local volunteer fire department, but this was such a surprise to come home to! We are so thankful for the prayers and support from everyone! We are so so happy to be home! God is good!
January 2, 2021
Today marks day 16 postoperative as well as 6 days out of the hospital. Overall, Eric’s recovery has gone pretty smooth and we are grateful for that. He did have slight increase of white blood cell count every day that could have been caused by a few different reasons, but really needed to rule out infection. Eric was also discharged from the hospital with a J/P drain the was on the right side of his abdomen, draining excess fluid from around the pancreas. The JP drain was still draining a large amount of fluid for being as many days post op as Eric was. Usually when they end up removing the J/P drains postoperative, output is only measuring 30mL’s for the day, Eric was having almost 600mLs out in a day. As much as Eric wanted to have the drain tube removed, it didn’t seem like it was going to happen anytime soon with the output he was still having. It was recommended to have a CT scan to make sure that there were not any pockets of fluid that would be reason for the large output or infection starting. The CT scan was essentially negative for anything remarkable that would give cause for the increased white blood cell count or the large amount of drainage.
We have known how important keeping Eric hydrated after discharge would be, so he always had water next to him and I was constantly reminding him to drink it. He was drinking more than was recommended, but what we didn’t realize was how hard it would be to keep up with the new kidney. It was explained to us that the new kidney is getting used to the new environment and the receptors are not yet acclimated. So unlike my kidneys, Eric’s new kidney is constantly eliminating waste, whether he intakes a lot of water or not. If I don’t drink much water, I am not going to urinate much, Eric’s is still going to eliminate water, making it hard to keep him hydrated. He has had to get some IV fluids when at his appointments to help prevent him from getting hydrated.
He has been pretty sore, but that seems to be getting better every day. He had one night that was very rough, he had been rating his pain 4/10, but this night he said his pain was a 7/10 (I would have guessed his pain was 10/10 seeing his response to the pain). The pain was in the area of his JP tube. We called the transplant coordinator because the pain had not been this intense and the pain medication did not seem to be getting a handle on it. We had an appointment 1st thing in the morning and with no other symptoms, we could either wait until that appointment or go to the ER. With Covid, she really did not want to have to send Eric back through the ER, and he did not want to go back there either. He was evaluated by both the kidney specialist and the surgical team. After the Surgical team evaluated him, they found that his JP drain was “clogged” so they did pull this even though it had been still having drainage. Since this was pulled, the pain has decreased and he has been starting to get around better again.
I’d say that Eric is more himself every day. He found out Wednesday of this week that he will be fishing the regional BASS tournament in Lacrosse Wisconsin later this year and has been researching and watching videos about fishing in this area since he found out. We played Fishin-Opoly today and he beat me!! Eric has finished the seasons of Yellowstone (we haven’t gotten into another series yet). As comfortable as we are making our short term home away from home, we are both ready to get home and see our boys!! We pray that recovery continues to go well for Eric so that we can go home. When we do go home, Eric will have a home health nurse come to him and draw labs 2-3 times a week and he will still be closely monitored.
Again, we thank you all for your continued prayers and kind thoughts! We wouldn’t be able to do this without all of the support that we have had, we are thankful for every thing that has been done for us. We wish you all a Happy New Year! We know that 2021 is going to be pretty amazing!!
December 28, 2020
After 11 days in the hospital Eric was finally able to be discharged. He was released on December 26th! A late, but great Christmas present!! It was wonderful to be able to see him, other than just through Facetime! It is amazing to see how far he has come since surgery. He has a big step out of the way but a long ways to go. There was concern of some bleeding while Eric was in the hospital, he ended up having a few blood transfusions and an endoscopy to investigate were the bleeding was coming from. He ended up having ulcerations of his upper GI, that could have been from stress and medications that he has been taking. He also had some irritation of his esophagus cause from having the NG tube. His hemoglobin has been remaining pretty stable since having the endoscopy and has not needed any more blood transfusions.
Since discharge, Eric’s white blood cell count has been increasing. This causes concern for an infection. Prior to leaving the hospital Eric has numerous tests performed looking for where the infection could be. All tests were inconclusive. This is also being closely monitored at this time, as he has been going into the clinic for daily appointments and labs. Since there are daily appointments we are staying in the Minneapolis area. We are unsure of how long until we can actually go home, it all depends on how things continuing going for Eric. As much as we miss the boys and would love to be home, we know that Eric is in good hands and is right where he needs to be.
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support!
December 21, 2020
12/20/20 Update. I haven’t talked to Eric very much the last couple days because he really is not on the mood to talk much yet. So if you have tried to contact him and have not heard back, please don’t take it personal. I think the only reason he calls me is to check in and knows he can tell me at any point he has to go and hang up on me. He has still been pretty uncomfortable, but has told me that he is feeling better everyday. He told me that he walked up and down stairs today, “graduating” from physical therapy. I won’t go into very much detail about what else happened today (
December 19, 2020
Last night, after the last update, Eric was able to move to the transplant floor. This is the move we wanted to see happen. ￼During the Transfer to his new room he got nauseated and said that it wasn’t very fun. He must have had a crazy driver
December 17, 2020
Eric called me late last night!! I was so surprised and happy when I seen his number come across phone! I was expecting the call to be from another nurse with updates since he was moved from recovery to intermediate care. It was soo amazing to hear his voice after such a long day!
Every call from the healthcare team yesterday came with good news that everything was going as planned. Surgery started at 0700 am and I received updates every 2 hours. I heard from the Surgeon a little after 4 yesterday that surgery was complete and at that time Eric had not had any insulin for 4 hours and his blood sugars were stable (pancreas was working!) and that his kidney was already having good urine output! When I got a call later from the nurse in recovery right after surgery he said that Eric was in minimal pain at that time, but still very groggy, but said he would not probably be in recovery very long before he would be moved to the next floor. That’s when he finally called at 11:23 pm. Even if it was a brief conversation because he was sore and tired, that was what I needed to get some rest myself. I finally slept good that I didn’t wake up until he called again at a little after 7 this morning. We then Facetimed the boys and they were soo happy to be able to see Dad!
Eric was put back on insulin drip as his blood sugars started to rise (last I heard he was only on 1 unit an hour). This can be concerning because the higher blood sugars could be cause from the pancreas not working because of a blood clot. If this were to happen, he would have to go back into surgery. They have been monitoring this closely with frequent ultrasounds, which have all shown good blood flow and no clots! The high blood sugars could be from the steroids used during and after surgery for inflammation, or sometimes the new organs can just be “sleepy” and take some time to wake up. As for his kidney, he has been having good urine output and things all look good there so far as well. Eric did also already have to get out of bed this morning to get his weight, he did not like that so much and is not looking forward to having to get up and sit in a chair this afternoon. I told him each time you do it, it will get easier!
I try to let Eric call me when he feels up to it, I know that he needs his rest (I am trying not to be a crazy wife calling every 20 minutes to make sure he is ok). If you have ever been in the hospital, you know it is hard to get any rest and there is usually always someone in your room doing something. The pandemic and the strict COVID restrictions make this even harder. I wish that I could be by his side.
I feel like I can’t end this update without another Thank you all for everything that each has done! Thank you.
December 16, 2020
Most of you know this, but we are here. Eric got a call yesterday for a kidney and pancreas donation. We were not expecting to get this call so soon. We were just preparing to start home dialysis. The PD catheter that Eric just had placed, was just healing enough so that he could start the education and using the catheter for dialysis. That is where our focus has been the last couple weeks, so we felt a little like a wrench was thrown at us. Eric was told that he had 15 minutes to make a decision. After asking a few more questions and talking to the Doctor he decided that he was going to proceed.
As I am typing this Eric is in surgery. Yesterday seemed like such a whirlwind. I can speak for Eric when I say this, but we appreciate every single prayer, message, phone call, donation and kind word. It means so much to us, we can not thank you enough. Thank you doesn’t feel like enough. We couldn’t do this without our friends and family.
Our hearts go with the family that had to make a very hard decision during their time of loss. Such a wonderful gift, to be able to give the gift of life to not only Eric but I am sure many others. This has brought Christmas blessings to many people. Please keep this family in your prayers as well. We don’t know them, nor may we ever know them, but they will be in our hearts for a lifetime.
“He says, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”” -Psalms 46:10
Thanks Emily for the scripture today and reminder that we are not alone.
December 10, 2020
A lot has happened since we’ve made the last update.
Eric was able to fish in the B.A.S.S National Championship in Florence Alabama on Lake Pickwick. Although he did not do as well as he would have liked to in this tournament, he is very grateful for the opportunity to make it that far. He had a good time while he was there.
Shortly after he returned home from this tournament, he had a follow up appointment with his nephrologist. Evaluating the trends of his lab results, his nephrologist recommended that Eric consider starting the process for peritoneal dialysis. This was not the route we wanted to take, but have decided that it was the best option for the time being. Eric had the PD catheter placed and everything went well. He is already 1 week post op. After two weeks of recovery and healing, we will go to the dialysis unit in Sioux falls and attend a weeks worth of educational sessions to be able to perform the peritoneal dialysis at home. This is a process and part of the reason it was recommended to start the process now, while Eric is feeling well instead of waiting until he is having more noticeable symptoms of kidney failure.
After the last update we were heading to Minnesota to get on the list for a kidney and pancreas transplant. We made it there and then Eric had to get more standard cardiac testing completed, which took time to get scheduled and resulted. Then we had to wait for insurance approval, which we finally got. Then there was some paper work on Fairview’s end to get Eric’s name on the active list back dated to May when we first started all of this. (This is due to things being put on hold due to the pandemic) Yesterday, Eric was officially put on the active list for a kidney/pancreas transplant since May 2019. That means really, any day now he can get a call and potentially get a transplant. It is really hard to say how soon this call will come.
After talking to many doctors, and going over all the treatments options. We have decided that if Eric can manage peritoneal dialysis and wait for a kidney and pancreas transplant, this would be the best option for him. We have not totally nixed the option of getting a living kidney donor, it is just with Eric’s diabetes being more than likely the reason for kidney failure we worry that we might be in the same boat sooner than later if he just has a kidney transplant.
I came across a verse that was posted by someone I follow on Instagram. I point out that it was seen on an Instagram post because I feel that it came to me when I needed to hear it.
“When the time is right, I the Lord, will make it happen” Isaiah 60:22
We have faith that when the time is right the Lord will make it happen, whether it is what we had planned or not. Just like when I am anxious and overwhelmed about the news that Eric has to start dialysis, I start mindlessly scrolling social media and come across this verse. I was reminded that we are not alone in this and to trust the plan that God has for Eric.
September 15, 2020
It has been a while since we have updated, well because there has not been a lot to update. A lot of things have been put on hold for us due to COVID-19, just like for many of you I am sure. Eric finally got the call he had been waiting for and he was able to schedule an appointment with the University of Minnesota. He had not been able to schedule this appointment until COVID-19 restrictions were lifted and the clinics in Minnesota could start seeing patient’s again. We were so thankful during this time of wait that Eric remained healthy! This appointment was set for August 3rd, but we ended up having to reschedule due to Eric having been closely exposed to COVID-19. In spite of having such close exposure, Eric remained healthy and tested negative for the virus, but had to wait a little longer before we could reschedule the appointment with Minnesota.
We made the trip to Minneapolis this week to finally complete the testing needed and meet the surgeon. This puts Eric closer to getting placed on the active transplant list for a kidney and pancreas! We have to wait until all the test results come back and the transplant team reviews everything. We just ask for prayers that everything comes back okay and we can move forward with this journey.
In other news about Eric, he was able to fish the Northern divisional in Tower, MN and place 2nd overall and 1st place on the South Dakota team. This gives him the opportunity to fish at Nationals in Alabama in November! We are all looking forward to this! If you don’t know Eric, you probably have already come to the conclusion that he loves fishing just from reading this page. This is something that he has worked hard to be able to get this opportunity for a long time. We pray that he continues to stay healthy and the perfect kidney and pancreas will come at the right time.
So to recap where things are at. Eric is doing good, no major symptoms of kidney failure. He is still in the process of getting a potential living donor with Sanford in Sioux Falls. The trip to the university of Minnesota was to get the list of tests and appointments done so that Eric can get onto the list for a kidney and pancreas transplant. So far, this seems to be the best option for Eric, but we will await all the results and to hear from the transplant team.
March 6, 2020
Words cannot express how grateful we are for each and every one of you! We are so fortunate to have so much support during this time. We want all of you to know how thankful we are for each and every prayer, for the phone calls and texts, for all the kind words, monetary donations, and sharing Eric’s story. It is because of the wonderful people that we are surrounded by, Sanford Transplant is overwhelmed with phone calls from people wanting to find out if they can help. Transplant staff is working extra hours to keep up and to do the best that they can to find a potential donor for Eric, as well as other people in need at this time. This means so much to us! We were even asked if we had put this out on social media or how we got the word out to so many people. How AMAZING is that?!
Eric is still planning to learn more on kidney/pancreas transplant. We are heading to Mayo in April to meet the team at that facility and learn about the possibilities of a kidney/pancreas transplant for Eric. We do not know much about it at this time, but we do know that they wait list for this kind of transplant is longer, around two years, but could be longer. Eric could be in need of a kidney before there would be a match for a kidney and pancreas, which is why the process to find the living kidney donor is in place. Eric could then receive just a kidney from a living donor. At this time, Eric is doing what he can to prevent his kidney function from worsening. Again, we are so thankful to have such a great support system. Times like these would be a lot more difficult without such kind and generous people in our lives. Every gesture, small to big, puts a sparkle in our day. We cannot thank you enough for being a light in our lives.
February 7, 2020
Eric has officially been listed on the transplant list as inactive. That means his kidney function is above 20 and stable, he will gain seniority on the transplant list even being listed as inactive. If he was to find a match for a live kidney donor we could still proceed with that route.
We are so thankful for everyone involved in Erics care. They have been so helpful and kind.
Photo Galleries (2)
January 8, 2021
Praying for you guys! ❤️ We’re here for you!
December 25, 2020
Slama sends his best wishes. He would have sent this himself but he is very technologically challenged.
Shawn Van Gerpen
December 25, 2020
Merry Christmas to you and your family! Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
Shawn and Lisa Van Gerpen
December 20, 2020
Love and prayers, always ❤️
December 17, 2020
My Prayers and well wishes
December 16, 2020
Thoughts and prayers for succezx
Cliff Van Beek
December 16, 2020
Sending Love & Prayers your way!
December 16, 2020
Prayers for a smooth operation and speedy recovery! So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
March 17, 2020
Thinking of you all!!!!
Bryan, Melissa & Denver Rinehart
February 24, 2020
Keep strong family. You got this bud
February 15, 2020
My best wishes for you, Eric. You're a great guy, and great to work with.
February 13, 2020
Beautiful Fish Eric. Keep the Faith. I received my Kidney Transplant June 10, 2018 from Duke. Never Give up. Help Hope Live was on the Journey with me. Prayers for you and your family...
February 13, 2020
Prayers for your New Kidney. Eric it's on the Way!!
February 13, 2020
Hope you get a kidney soon bud. You're a wonderful person and the Lenhoff family will say prayers that the procedure goes well.
February 12, 2020
Love you Eric! You got this!!
February 12, 2020
You hang tough and keep up the hope, Eric. Sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers!
February 11, 2020
Thoughts and prayers Eric.
Matt and Jolene Hagen
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