CHICAGO — Ihor Taratula, 60, is a father, husband and grandfather who is in desperate need of a kidney transplant.
His family brought him to the U.S. just hours before Russia began missile strikes on Ukraine.
The remainder of his immediate family remains in Ukraine, shifting the search for a living donor to here in the Chicago community.
WGN News Now spoke with Ihor’s daughter, Oksana Taratula about her father’s journey and who could potentially be a match for her father.
“After one hour of walking into the house, the bombs began in Ukraine,” says Oksana. “I’m so privileged he is here, and I’m asking U.S. citizens to help me with that.”
Oksana says her father was diagnosed about 2 years ago in Ukraine. Now, she says doctors have told the family they have about six weeks to find a living donor to skip dialysis. Currently, Oksana says the waiting list for a kidney is about 3-5 years.
Oksana has extended the plea to social media where she states there are two types of donors they are looking for: a deceased donor transplant, which means waiting for years and starting ongoing dialysis, and a living donor transplant, where a friend or family member can donate.
Doctors do not recommend Oksana donating since it could be genetic.
“For these reasons, I’m calling for the help of a living kidney donor who believe in miracles,” says Oksana in her social media post. “I understand this may be a long shot with such a tall ask, but I do believe in love and compassion be it from family or someone special that we get blessed to meet.”
For more information on becoming a potential donor, you can contact UI Health Transplant Center at 312-996-6771.
“My dad has always been my hero and I’ll do anything to make him feel that way till the last day I possibly can,” says Oksana.