Mum and dad give kidneys to save son’s life
No matter how far away he is, Isaak Battista will always carry a piece of his mum and dad with him - their kidneys.
The 22-year-old was born with kidney failure and has had the extraordinary experience of receiving an organ transplant from both his mother and his father.
Isaak's dramas began at just three days old when doctors said he would need a transplant.
"I was in shock, even talking about it I get emotional … I think I went completely white," mother Rebekka said.
Thanks to the care of countless nurses and doctors, Isaak made it to eight years old before he had to have his first transplant.
Thankfully his father Gianpiero was a match and donated a kidney. Living donations have much higher success rates than waiting for a deceased donor.
But that was not the end of his long medical journey. In 2019, the donated kidney began to fail as Isaak's body rejected it.
While Rebekka was never checked for compatibility when Isaak was eight, she now took the test to see if she too would be able to gift her son a kidney.
Incredibly, she was a match.
Now all three share matching scars, a physical reminder of the sacrifice these parents made to give their son a fighting chance.
"It's crazy we have matching scars … they left Gianpiero's kidney there, so he carries both of us around," she said.
"He has me on the left and dad on the right."
For 22-year-old Isaak, who is now studying theology in Sydney, the profound bond he shares with his parents is only just truly sinking in.
"You get a good understanding with the sacrifices when you're older … seeing how it affected mum and dad," he said.
Isaak joked he must have lots of space to be carrying around four kidneys.
"I've got a nice U shape scar … very nicely done," he joked.
Despite the jokes, he has a serious message when it comes to organ donation.
"If I didn't have a transplant I would be stuck in a hospital through dialysis … I would never be able to travel or meet new people, and that's all because of the donation," he said.
Mr Battista encourages everyone to join the organ donor list and said he can never put into words his appreciation for mum and dad.
"I don't have the right amount of words to describe what I feel. What I do know is following the call God has on my life is honouring them, and not wasting what they've given me," he said.
Originally published as Mum and dad give kidneys to save son's life