When Bobby Bebber was born, he wasn’t expected to survive. Twenty-eight years later, he’s still defying the odds.
But now the South Florida man may be facing his toughest fight yet, as he is on dialysis in an intensive care unit in North Carolina.
“Even now, he tells me when he talks to me on the phone, ‘Mom, I’m fighting as hard as I can,’” said his mother, Marianne Bebber. “He just doesn’t stop.”
It’s a miracle her son is alive.
“When he was born they told us he wouldn’t make it – call the priest, and just have the last rites, and that was it,” his mother said.
Bobby Bebber was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age 2. He needed two liver transplants to survive.
His poor health didn’t stop him from going to high school and then college at Florida International University. But recently, things took a turn for the worse, and the 28-year-old now needs a double lung transplant. His father took leave from work to stay with him in North Carolina, where he is being treated at Duke University Medical Center.
The kidney his mother donated to him 11 years ago isn’t healthy enough for the drugs. The kidney is also not technically bad enough to get on the donor list, so he needs a private donor.
“We have emailed every person we know, Facebooked every person we know, put messages for people to share the story about how we need an ‘O’ type kidney donor,” Marianne Bebber said.
They’ve been searching for about two years, she said.
“My family, my husband’s family, everyone we know is ‘A’ or ‘AB.’ We have found no one that is ‘O,’” she said.
Bobby Bebber gets visited by his mother and brother visit as much as they can – but this week’s trip will be a tough one.
“I’m nervous, not so much for me because we’ve seen him in every shape, but his brother, I feel really bad for his brother getting to see him this way,” Marianne Bebber said.
Anyone who is interested in helping Bobby Bebber by being a living donor can call the Duke kidney program at 1-800-249-5864.
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