New hope for basketball star needing kidney transplant

New hope for basketball star needing kidney transplant

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - There's new information about the plight of Mark Politte, a former standout basketball player at LSU-Shreveport. His diagnosis of stage 5 kidney failure ended his playing career and has led to the fight of his life for a transplant.

Just last year, 26-year-old Mark Politte's future looked so bright as a standout guard for the LSU-Shreveport basketball team, and a promising potential future in pro leagues overseas.

"I had an offer in China, South America and Europe, like right before the kidney failure happened," said Politte.

During our visit to see Politte, he called home to Houston, Texas to speak with his little brother Dameion McQueen who has volunteered one of his kidneys to save his big brother.

In a brief phone conversation with McQueen, he recalled, "Yeah, when it first happened I said I'd give it to him.  I mean like, that's just, up to my mind that was the first thing."

But earlier this year, Politte says the Willis Knighton Transplant Center declined his case. The rejection letter cited 'lack of adequate support system,' specifically his brother's transportation back and forth from Houston where McQueen still lives.

In a statement released Wednesday from Willis Knighton's Marketing and Public Relations Director Marilyn Joiner, it reads in part, "Willis-Knighton's transplant team will not deny surgery to any person who meets the criteria for transplantation. The national requirements for living donor transplantation includes 25 pages of criteria for the both recipient and donor."

Politte explained, "My brother even told them, 'I would stay in Shreveport for the, you know, for the two years if I have to in order to do follow ups, anything, I would do it.'  Like he told them that and their answer, their answer was still no."

Mark spends much of his time at a Shreveport dialysis clinic at least three days a week for five hours at a time. It's a process that takes its toll on him.

"It drains you. It's like, it's like, it's like it's pulling, you know what I'm saying, it's like pulling things out of you. You know, like you, you're just tired," explained Politte.

But since our initial story about Politte aired earlier this week, the senior transplant coordinator at Ochsner's Medical Center in New Orleans has now spoken to Politte several times and wants to see his medical files.

"If they call right now, like I will gas up my car and leave today," said a smiling Politte.

It likely won't happen that fast, but Politte sent us a message Thursday afternoon explaining that the process of sending all the paperwork and medical tests to Ochsner is now well underway.

We reached out again to Willis Knighton for any additional comment they may have, but Marilyn Joiner said they stand by their original statement and have nothing to add at this point, especially in light of so-called 'Hippa Laws' which deal with patient privacy.

In the meantime, Politte's dialysis treatments will continue and so will his efforts to graduate with just one semester left at LSU-S as he anxiously awaits word from Ochsner.

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