A little more than three years ago, Alexander Hamilton received a new lease on life. He hasn’t let it go to waste.
On April 4 of 2016, the Hahnville native was the recipient of a new kidney. The donor exemplified the bond between siblings — his brother Jordan made the sacrifice to help save Alexander’s life through the transplant, and says for him, it was a call made without hesitation.
And indeed, there was much left for Alexander to do. He and his longtime girlfriend of 10 years have brought a baby girl into the world since, their daughter Kensley making two years old this year. His love for his family is his driving force day in and day out, fittingly made possible by the love his family, his brother, showed him.
“She’s amazing,” Alexander said, his voice beaming with pride as he spoke of his daughter. “She’s my pride and joy. Every bit of me, in every form of fashion, I give to her. She makes every day a blessing.”
Working for St. Charles Parish’s public works and wastewater department, he’s driven to provide to make sure Kensley “doesn’t want” for anything.
Alexander said as his health trials and tribulations went on, he never allowed himself to focus on the worst case scenario. His positive attitude may not have only served to guide him through the situation, but he wanted to be strong for his family. Alexander takes pride in having mental toughness, something that allowed him to push through his tough times and to continue to provide for his family and pursue his passions in life today.
“Your physical body goes as your mind does,” he said. “One follows the other.”
The gravity and risks of the situation were very real, however. Alexander did not feel any physical deterioration or weakness prior to taking a job-related physical in April of 2015, but his blood pressure numbers alarmed doctors and he was advised he needed emergency room care.
After two days, he learned he was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, or scar tissue in the filtering unit of the kidney. It causes harmful substances that the kidney would ordinarily filter out to enter into the bloodstream. What causes the disease is often unknown.
He was told he was getting worse. He needed to go on dialysis, and eventually would require a kidney transplant. The process of finding a donor can be time consuming: one might be on the donor list for four or five years without finding a match.
It didn’t take that long: Jordan was confirmed as a match and potential donor. Blood work revealed he didn’t carry the same gene that caused Alexander’s illness. He made the call to give his kidney.
“It was part of why I wanted to stay strong,” Alexander said. “Anytime I can make things better for the people around me, I want to take that route. Jordan stepped up, he took that route for me. If the tables were turned, I’d do the same for him in a heartbeat.”
Jordan is also doing well, a student at Xavier University studying computer science. He said seeing Alexander with his family brings a lot of joy.
“It makes me feel great to help anyone in need, and that it’s my brother in this case, it’s all the better,” Jordan said. “It feels good to see how it’s all worked out. They’ve made a home with a child, she’s perfectly healthy. He’s doing really well.”
Following the transplant, their father, Johnnie, called Jordan’s sacrifice heroic.
“Most people live their whole life wondering what it’s like to be a hero,” he said. To be a true hero is to save someone’s life. No second thoughts. He never says you owe me. Just, ‘I did it because I love you.’ Nothing more, nothing less. That’s the best thing to me.”