Zebulon man with kidney failure in search of donor

ZEBULON, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Zebulon man on the verge of dialysis is desperately searching for a kidney.

"Sometimes there are days where I'm extremely tired. I may feel lethargic, I'm not able to do as much as other days," explained Demetrick Phillips.

Phillips, 40, was diagnosed with stage 3 kidney failure in November 2015, just months before he married his now-wife Odettia. Since then, it's progressed to stage 5.

Doctors believe his kidney failure could have been caused in part due to a pituatary brain tumor and high blood pressure. Phillips, who recently underwent weight-loss surgery, said his condition is stable, though he's down to just 16 percent kidney function. If it drops another two percent, he'll need to start dialysis.

"I know in order for me to stay positive, not to fall into depression or anything like that, I have to be able to keep moving," Phillips said.

He's achieved that by continuing to work in IT for the state, as well as maintaining his hobbies.

Odettia's family has experience with this condition.

"My father is also stage 5 kidney disease, chronic kidney disease, failure," said Phillips.

Demetrick has blood type B negative, meaning people with B negative or O blood-types are ideal candidates. They are now working with the Duke Transplant Center to find a match or donor swap. That is when two people in need of different types of donors agree to switch should they each find one that fits the other person.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, more than 113,000 people were in need of organ donations as of January, with a person being added to the list every 10 minutes.

"Unfortunately, when that time comes for us to pass away, a lot of our organs are taken with us. Those same organs can save someone else's life," Odettia said.

If you are interested in becoming a donor, you can fill out this survey from the Duke Transplant Center.

To learn more about the process, click here.
Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.