California man waits months in Oklahoma for kidney transplant put on hold due to COVID-19


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A California man who moved to Oklahoma to get on a kidney transplant list is losing hope after COVID-19 put a halt to a possible match back in April.

“Just waiting for a phone call,” said Michael Glispie.

It’s a wait that has stretched on for two years now. Glispie left his family in California for a single bedroom alone in Oklahoma City, hoping for a better chance at a kidney transplant.

A potential match in March turned out not to be viable. Then in April, he got a second call, and rushed in to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center.

“I thought ‘for sure I’m about to get a kidney transplant this time,’” Glispie said.

But with so many questions surrounding the then-new coronavirus, it didn’t happen.

“The kidney wasn’t tested and they couldn’t transplant it. It was too much of a risk, it would kill him if the kidney had coronavirus in it,” said his mother, Gail Glispie.

It was a devastating blow for the 42-year-old and for the family he left behind.

“The only thing I could do is trust God that that was not for him,” Gail said.  “Because I’m a firm believer in what’s for you is for you.”

This Thanksgiving, Gail and Michael’s second daughter, 10-year-old Cherele, traveled to Oklahoma City to visit him. It was the first time he had seen his daughter since 2019.

“It was very exciting, a boost. It feels like this is what I’ve been fighting for, to see them,” he said, his daughter in tears next to him. “Me and my daughter are really close and I can’t be around her everyday.”

He fights through dialysis every night, but still his body has wasted away as he waits.

The separation from his daughters and his grandchildren hopefully won’t drag on much longer, but each day adds to his disappointment.

“I just feel like there’s no hope to be honest,” Glispie said.

Now his mother is making a plea, searching for the generosity in others.

“Consider donating a kidney. You can donate a kidney and live a normal life,” she said. “Help Michael to get his life back. That’s what I’m hoping for.”

Glispie said people with Type A blood are a likely match. His family started a GoFundMe account to help pay for the surgery and his related medical bills.

KFOR reached out to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center for comment on his status but has not yet heard back.

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