Meet our fabulous patient Mr. Frank Cozier. Frank is one in a million. Originally from Trinidad, Frank came to the US to join a band, Energetic, as their lead singer when he was in his 20s. He was "discovered" when the family band came to Trinidad looking for a new lead. Frank has lived in 8 states since coming to the US and has a number of differing skills having worked in many different industries. Frank has worked as a painter, upholsterer, first responder, dj, and even worked on oil rigs offshore in Louisiana. Frank developed a rare disease called Amyloidosis which occurs when a substance called amyloid builds up in someone's organs. It can affect the heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, nervous system and digestive tract. Frank has been through a lot medically since his diagnosis with amyloidosis including paracenteses, chemotherapy, and a stem cell transplant. He has been on dialysis for nearly 7 years while he continues to await his transplant. Read on to learn more about our resilient and remarkable patient Frank.
How did you find out you might need a kidney transplant?
It all started when I saw a company doctor in 2012 when I was working offshore on an oil rig in Louisiana. The doctor and I were buddies and he called me and said "Frank, I don't know where this came from but you have amyloidosis and you need to get to a hospital now". I was in shock. I felt fine, I was doing great and doing well in my company. They had asked me to be a first responder which was a huge honor. And then next thing I know, I'm on dialysis. It's been a long road.
What has kept you motivated throughout all you experienced waiting for transplant?
Life and living life. It's something I have to do. I include dialysis in my life, like a job, but it doesn't stop me from living—living is what has kept my spirit going. I love life and I'm not going to stop living it. I'm very spiritual and I believe God has me here for a purpose. I truly believe he didn't bring me this far to leave me alone, so I can't wait to see what's next.
What do you like to do for fun?
I like to visit friends, go to cookouts, spend time with my family. I talk and laugh and watch football. I live my life normally, I just don't over do it. I like to go walking, and I like to drive around and visit different neighborhoods and areas, and I like to meet people and greet them. I still love to sing, and I do that and play the drums at church. I love music too. I listen to a lot of reggae, calypso, R & B and suca music.
What do you look forward to doing after transplant?
Oh man, I can't wait to work. I am used to making money and being around people and I'm motivated to do that. I can't wait to do that again. I think I'd like to work in a warehouse, maybe drive forklifts or something. I can do a lot of different things and I'm looking forward to using those skills again.
What is your favorite meal?
I love Pelau. It's a traditional island rice dish. I just made some the other night.
What do you miss most about the Caribbean?
I miss my mama. I really do, and I miss my family. I haven't been able to see them since I've been on dialysis. They are all rooting for me and cheering me on from back home and can't wait until I'm transplanted.