Authors: By MISTI CRANE
GAHANNA, Ohio (AP) -- Moses Allen said he doesn't care much about pain.
So the 36-year-old tattoo artist didn't fear the kidney/pancreas transplant in 2007 that rescued him from dialysis and gave him back his strength.
His father, however, is wired a little differently.
"I said, `Man, I don't want anyone opening me up like that,'" said 55-year-old Artis Allen, who, like his son, ended up on dialysis for damage caused by poorly controlled Type 1 diabetes.
It was Artis Allen's memory of how the transplant transformed his oldest son - and a little convincing from his son - that got him to Ohio State University Medical Center last month for his kidney/pancreas transplant.
Dr. Mitchell Henry, chief of transplantation there, said he had never heard of a father and son who both had a kidney/pancreas transplant. No national data are kept on that, so it's impossible to know whether the Allens are the only such pair in history.
Surgeons transplant both organs from a donor who has died because it offers the best chance at curing diabetes. Ohio State performs about 20 kidney/pancreas transplants a year. There were 2,124 people awaiting the combined transplant in the United States as of Oct. 14. Patients typically wait a year or two for organs that are a good match.
The younger Allen's influence on his father was important, Henry said. Almost seven in 10 people with diabetes who are on dialysis will die in the first five years, he said. Moses Allen was on dialysis for 21/2 years; Artis Allen, for more than a year. The son still gets quiet when he recalls the roses that would sit in the chairs at his dialysis center when one of the other patients had died.
"I said, `Man, I'll go ahead and try it,' and I'm glad I did,'" Artis Allen said last week from his home in Mifflin Township in central Ohio. Near the couch where he sat were boxes full of the home dialysis equipment he no longer needs.
"I feel a whole lot better."
His doctor has already taken him off one of his medications for high blood pressure, and Artis Allen suspects he'll be off the other one soon. He's working on gaining some weight and getting his energy back and hopes to return to running his construction and repair business soon.
"I thank the Lord he got the transplant, because he deserves it," said his son, who lives in Columbus.
Artis Allen said he was humbled by the generosity of his organ donor.
Moses Allen said he wishes more people would understand the power of organ transplants and agree to donate.
"Organ donation is wonderful, and if I could, I would donate my organs," he said.
Donate Life America and organ-donation and transplantation advocates announced this month that 100 million people in the United States are now registered as organ, eye and tissue donors. The groups set that goal in 2006.
Ohio's registry has about 5 million registered donors.
Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com