Whether being the College of Charleston basketball team’s voice, hosting a radio show, or giving back to the community he loves, Everett has always lived life with passion!
Everett has a passion for education and telling his story. He believes if he can inspire one person to change their lifestyle, live healthier, get their wellness exams, and stay active and hydrated – he is changing someone's life.
One evening he was preparing to make the drive to Florida to drop off a new car for his younger sister. What an amazing big brother! He noticed his vision was a little blurry and decided to stop to get his eyes checked for glasses first. He didn’t want to make the drive unable to see clearly!
Much to his surprise, the optometrist noticed no issues requiring glasses but rather recommended he see his primary care physician for a quick wellness exam. In his thirties and seeming invincible, he figured wellness exams weren’t quite an annual necessity, be he would stop by a clinic for a quick assessment just to be safe. Nurse after nurse checked his blood pressure; surely it can’t be this high, they thought. The physician came in to confirm that Everett was lucky to be standing in front of them as his blood pressure was so extreme, he was a walking stroke!
Everett was able to get home to his wife, and they immediately went to MUSC. This was a matter of life or death! Everett was admitted for the weekend, and his medical team found that his kidneys were functioning at 12%; he was in stage four kidney disease. After going on some medication to help slow the decrease in kidney function, he returned to MUSC for a follow-up. His kidneys were now functioning at 5%. He needed a transplant. Knowing the reality of the kidney transplant waiting list, he decided looking for a living donor would be the best option.
He shared his story with anyone willing to listen, knowing that even if they weren’t a match for him, maybe they could inspire someone else to get tested.
In fact, because of his story, he created a ripple effect causing multiple people to donate altruistically to others. Thankfully, both of Everett’s sisters were eager to help their brother. They were both tested and perfect matches! It was decided that his youngest sister would be his Donor Hero. To make things interesting, his sister then found out she would be having a beautiful baby girl, and Everett found out his insurance required him to be on dialysis for a year before qualifying for the coverage of a transplant. His sister took six months to recover from delivering her daughter, and Everett continued his dialysis at home. Finally, on June 8th, 2011, Everett received his transplant.
His kidney disease was a result of high blood pressure, a common issue that so many individuals wrestle with but never think the result could be something as serious as needing a transplant. His passion for increasing access of care even inspired a grant submission for telehealth screening about kidney the process of kidney donation by Dr. Baliga, a renowned physician from MUSC. Today, Everett feels great! He is thankful for his gift and does his best to exercise, drink plenty of water, take his medications, and of course, share his story.