COVID-19 leaves Polk father of three in need of kidney transplant

Chris Paige was in the prime of his life. At 35, he was working hard to support his three little kids and their mom. Then one day, on a cross-country drive, he unexpectedly felt terrible.

“Just overwhelmingly tired,” he told FOX 13. “Couldn’t breathe, hardly.”

When he made it back home, he immediately went to the hospital, where they did a COVID-19 test.

“At first, I thought that was going to come back negative. But shortly, that changed up, and they told me, ‘you’re positive,’ and ran me up to the ICU,” he recalled.

Chris Paige picks pumpkins with one of his three children, before his body was ravaged by COVID-19.

Over the next few months, he was hospitalized two more times, each time for more than a week.

That was not his only issue.

Every member of his family, all three kids, including the newborn, and their mom tested positive for the coronavirus as well.

His family members had comparatively mild symptoms. Paige was not nearly as lucky.

His doctors told him that he had severe kidney damage and would have to be on dialysis three times a week until he had a kidney transplant.

He is still hoping to find a donor.

Chris Paige's whole family caught COVID-19.

Meanwhile, experts say his unfortunate situation is not unique.

“The best data that we have is that, of the critically ill patients or patients sick enough to be admitted to the hospital, approximately 31% will have severe kidney injury,” explained Dr. Steve Achinger of the Watson Clinic. “Upwards of 50% percent will have some degree of kidney dysfunction. So it is a common part of the illness.”

Experts say COVID-19 can also affect the heart and lungs function long term as well.

LINK: If you think you may be able to help Paige, you can find more information at