By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Millington resident AJ “Bud” Taylor has survived warfare in the jungles of Vietnam in 1968-69 as a United States Marine Corps soldier.
The father, grandfather and husband of Kathy Taylor has even overcome the effects of Agent Orange to reach the age of 71. But the man native to Florida reaching 72 or the 50th anniversary with his bride is in jeopardy because his kidneys are not functioning in his body.
“I feel like I’m losing, slowly but surely,” the man known as Bud said. “It chips away there and it chips away there. Then it chips away there. I’m going down.”
In urgent need of a living donor kidney transplant, Bud and his wife Kathy are reaching out to the Millington community and surrounding areas to plea for a donation.
“It hit me pretty hard,” Kathy recalled. “It just felt like my whole life had crumble down around me. I just didn’t know how to feel or what to do.”
Back in Feb. 2019, Bud’s kidney disease started to shut down the functions of the organs.
“It was very disheartening because we had went through about three or four months with the kidney doctor saying, ‘Maybe tomorrow it will get better,’” Kathy recalled. “It never got better. It just kept going downhill. All of sudden we had a port put in and the next day we start dialysis.”
Now Bud has dialysis every night for 9 hours. His goal is to get a match so he can receive a transplant at Methodist University Hospital University Tennessee at the Transplant Institute.
“We hope that somebody will feel it in their heart to help him because his life really depends on somebody giving him a kidney,” Kathy said. “We would gratefully appreciate it.”
Bud is a veteran who served in the Marine Corps for 24 years and came to the Memphis area working FedEx for another 24 years.
The man who has dedicated decades to two institutions said the most important thing in his life that keeps him fighting is approaching 50 years.
“That woman right there keeps me going,” he said pointing to Kathy. “It will be 49 years of us being together in August. She’s been with me every step of the way.
“Our only hope is a living donor,” Bud added. “One who can give me a kidney or donate me one in my name so hopefully it would fit me. They told us to call the coordinator, Michelle Floyd, and she will tell them (potential donors) what they have to do to get the test done and see if they’re a match.”
To be tested for being a possible donor, contact Michelle Floyd, RN, at 901-478-2813. Potential donors will find out the process to helping save Taylor’s life.
“I am a man of God and I believe it’s going to happen,” Bud concluded. “It’s all up to Him.”