SANBORNTON — ''Dave you don't have to do this,'' Wendy DeVoy told her husband as they walked up the steps to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon last week.
The couple had arrived before 6 o'clock in the morning for the long-anticipated kidney transplant surgery, one of the most common transplant operations in the country.
What was unusual was that it was going to be Dave DeVoy who was the kidney donor for his wife, a relatively rare procedure but one which he felt strongly needed to be done.
''I was scared, but I knew I was doing the right thing. I didn't believe there was another option,'' said DeVoy, who last December, after extensive tests, found out that he was a match to be a donor for his wife.
''It's pretty unusual for a husband to be a match. But once I found out that it was possible, the decision was easy to make,'' said DeVoy, a local business owner who is also chairman of the Belknap County Commission.
Wendy said that she had mixed feelings as they went into the hospital. ''I was so happy and grateful that he was going to be the donor , but I was so sad because knew it was causing him pain.''
DeVoy said that he was anxious abut the procedure and was hoping that he would be given medication which would help him relax. As it turned out, he only received that medication five minutes before he went into the operating room, where he placed under anesthesia and one of his kidneys removed.
The kidney was then placed in a cool water saline solution and it was Wendy's turn to be brought into the operating room after a wait of nearly eight hours since she had arrived at the hospital.
''It was nerve-wracking but they kept me in touch with what was happening,'' said Wendy, who received as a transplant a kidney much larger than the one it replaced and who had been on dialysis for eight years prior to the operation.
''We knew eight years ago that a transplant was probably going to be needed,'' says Dave, who said that at one point it was likely that Wendy's sister, who had tested out as a perfect match, would be he donor. But that changed last year and Dave, who had been tested as a possible donor eight years ago and never knew the results decided to have himself tested as a possible donor by Dartmouth-Hitchcock last fall.
Wendy was on home dialysis for four years but as of March last year had been undergoing the procedure at Concord Hospital. She was on a waiting list for a kidney transplant, but Dave said that the wait could have been several years during which her condition and quality of life would deteriorate.
DeVoy said that knowing that kidney donors actually outlive people who aren't kidney donors gave him confidence that there would be no long term impact on his health.
He said that when he woke up in the recovery room after his procedure Wendy was still in the operating room and he didn't get to see her until the next morning, when he was taken by wheelchair to her room, which was one floor up from where he was staying.
He said that when his 14-year-old daughter Maggie came to visit him after the operation he could see tears well up her in eyes because she was upset about the pain her mother was experiencing. But she was relieved to realize that the long ordeal was over and that her mother could lead a normal life once more.
DeVoy said that he was out of the hospital within a few days and his wife a few days later and have been receiving a lot of help from his mother, Evelyn, who lives in Dedham, Mass., and Wendy's mother, Jean Claridge, who lives in Sanbornton.
''We're both recovering and I'm still not at full speed,'' said DeVoy, who said he was pumped full of 25 pounds of fluid before the procedure and has shed most of that weight since coming home,
He owns convenience stores in Gilford and Barnstead, and is also chairman of the Belknap County Commission, which he said in recent months has also been a stressful situation.
Wendy says that her recovery period is expected to be four or five months and that she needs to make frequent follow-up visits to Dartmouth-Hitchcock.
But she is happy that the worst is behind her and is grateful for the support of friends and family since she has returned home.
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 May 2015 11:56
LACONIA — Belknap County Corrections Department Superintendent Dan Ward has submitted his resignation effective June 19.
''It's more of a retirement than a resignation,'' said Ward, who has held the position for five years and been in law enforcement and corrections for well over 20 years.
He says that his wife, Sheila, has accepted a vocational rehabilitation position with the Florida Department of Education in Tallahassee, Fla., which is located in Florida's panhandle region.
''I'm going there to support Sheila,'' said Ward, whose son D.J., who is entering the ninth grade and is the youngest of his six children, who will also be making the move.
Ward said that he is proud of the work that he has done in Belknap County to refocus corrections on providing treatment for offenders which will help them re-enter the community once their jail terms are completed.
He said that one regret is that he will not be around to see the proposed community corrections facility that he has worked on for many years finally built but sees a growing support for the plan which will help it to be brought to fruition.
Ward said that he is looking ahead to the challenges which he will face in Florida and that one of the possibilities he is likely to explore would be teaching at the college level in the corrections and law enforcement field.
''I'm not retiring to play golf,'' said Ward.
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 May 2015 11:49
LACONIA — A local civil engineering firm has purchased one of the city's largest downtown business blocks with plans to move its headquarters to the building.
GC Engineering of Belmont purchased the building at 633-637 Main St. — known as the Piscopo Block, according to a announcement released to the media yesterday by Bank of New Hampshire, which helped finance the transaction. The Belknap Economic Development Council (Belknap EDC) was also involved in financing the purchase.
GC Engineering, established in 1978, is a civil engineering firm specializing in all aspects of flood plain management, flood zone determinations, flood insurance, and consulting for the National Flood Insurance program. GC Engineering, led by Mark and Chris Condodemetraky, plans to expand its operations in the building, including interior renovations and retrofitting space in the three-story building on the corner of Main and Canal streets for their new headquarters.
"While we came into this transaction well prepared, there were still a few small challenges during the purchase. We were very fortunate to have a team of local resources, like Christopher Walkley from Bank of New Hampshire and Ken Wilson at Belknap EDC, on board to offer support and guidance throughout the process," the Condodemetrakys said.
"It's been such a pleasure to work with Mark and Chris as they pursued the purchase of 633-637 Main Street," said Christopher Walkley, an assistant vice president and commercial banker for Bank of New Hampshire. "We wish them much success in this new venture."
Belknap EDC Executive Director, Justin Slattery, added, "We are very pleased and proud of the role that we played in assisting with the financing of the purchase of 633-637 Main St. The Condodemetrakys' future plans for the property are impressive and we look forward to their completed renovations."
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 May 2015 11:44
SANBORNTON — Selectmen received some bad news last week when they learned the N.H. House version of the proposed biennial budget for fiscal year 2016 and 2017 excludes the state aid Highway money that would be used to pay off the balance of the loan for the so-called "Y" project.
"That $700,000 would have paid it all off," said Selectmen Chair Dave Nickerson who said the town bonded just under $3 million to complete the road project that rebuilt of Hunkins Pond Road, Bay Road, Upper Bay Road and all of Steele Hill Road.
When Sanbornton began discussion the "Y" project — so called because of the "Y" the intersections make when looked at from above — it was around 2007 and none of the current selectmen were serving in office, although Nickerson was on the Budget Committee.
The selectmen at the time were the late Patsy Wells, Guy Giunta, and Andrew Livernois. Bruce Kneuer was the town administrator.
The town applied for program that provided a 1/3 – 2/3 split with the town paying for 1/3 and the state agreeing to pay the 2/3 balance if the town accepted the road as a town road and agreed to maintain it.
In 2011, according to documents made available from the town, the Department of Transportation agreed to reimburse Sanbornton $1,939,934 over three years beginning in fiscal year 2014.
Town Administrator Bob Veloski said the town received $504,000 in fiscal year 2014 and $710,000 in fiscal year 2015. He was expecting an additional $700,000 for the upcoming fiscal year.
Nickerson said he had heard that Sanbornton is not the only community affected by the cuts to the state aid road program but his primary concern is how it will affect the town's budget.
Veloski said the balance of the payments are $117,266 annually plus interest meaning it could cost the town $143,000 for five to six years to pay back the money.
The House budget is only one version of the biannual state budget. The Senate will develop its own budget that may or may not include the state aid road program. Public hearings for the Senate version concluded yesterday.
After the Senate passes a budget, a Committee of Conference will be formed with members from both the House and the Senate. This is the budget that will go to Gov. Maggie Hassan for either a signature or a veto.
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 May 2015 02:02
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