Still Recovering From COVID-19, Chris McCarthy Now Needs a Kidney
WBSM midday host Chris McCarthy has been through hell and back in his battle with COVID-19, and now there has been another complication. Earlier this month, Chris went into kidney failure, and now he sits in the hospital going through a special treatment that may or may not work, and could possibly need a kidney transplant in the very near future.
“The doctors described it as ‘a wildfire,’’ he said from his hospital room at Mass General in Boston. “I have a very rare disease where my immune system is attacking my kidneys, and possibly my lungs. It came in and did massive damage to my kidneys. I’m on dialysis right now, and they’re trying a special treatment where they’re removing antibodies from my body with a plasma treatment, removing my plasma and replacing it to put out that wildfire.”
“The likelihood of it working is slim,” he said. “If it doesn’t work, and it probably won’t, I’m going to need a kidney transplant.”
In March of this year, Chris contracted COVID-19. The march through hell and back that Chris endured was something I wouldn't wish on my most hated enemy. Chris triumphed but this insidious virus isn't done with him yet. Back in the hospital with serious COVID-related complications, Chris is in need of your prayers and your support once again to win this battle once and for all.
“Just because you get over COVID doesn’t mean you’re over it right away,” he said. “There are other things that can go along with it.”
Chris had been working his way back from that horrendous bout with COVID, during which he suffered multiple strokes and a heart attack. He had only recently returned to the WBSM studio for the first time since March for an appearance with Marcus Ferro. Not long after that, he said, he was suffering from an upset stomach.
“I was throwing up, I had nausea, but I didn’t want it to back up into my lungs. I was coughing, but I didn’t think it was a big deal,” he said. He went to St. Luke’s Hospital. “The doctor said, ‘I don’t know why you’re throwing up exactly, but I’m glad you came in, because you’re in kidney failure.”
Chris said the nearest available ICU bed was in Salem, so he was transported there at 2 a.m. before eventually being brought to Boston. The lack of ICU beds in the area was detailed in a story from New Bedford Light columnist Jack Spillane.
Chris said the doctors aren’t sure if the kidney failure is directly related to his bout with COVID.
“They can’t pinpoint it exactly, but I was perfectly healthy beforehand, and lot of others are coming down with organ problems after having COVID,” he said. He said he is only beginning to learn the process of a potential kidney transplant while the plasma treatment is ongoing; WBSM will share details when we can of how you can become a potential donor.
He also encouraged others to seriously consider getting vaccinated against COVID-19 if they haven’t been already.
“I would have gotten the vaccine except I was 49 years old and it wasn’t available to me at the time,” he said. “We’ve been pro-get vaccinated from the beginning. I don’t want people thinking, ‘oh, turnabout’s fair play, you guys didn’t take it seriously and that’s why it’s happening to you.’ We’ve been serious about this since day one, but sometimes that’s not enough.”
Although he's not normally one to ask others for help, a GoFundMe has been set up to help Chris during his recovery process.
I've known Chris McCarthy for decades. I don't remember exactly when or how we met. Chris is one of those guys who kind of drifts in and out of your life. Every time you hook up, there is never a lack of things to talk about. Chris is just a regular "guy's guy."
Chris had already been co-hosting with Ken Pittman on Ken's popular Saturday morning program on WBSM when Brian Thomas decided to give up his midday time slot Monday through Friday. Chris was a natural choice to fill the position. He is passionate, well-read, extremely knowledgable, and highly respected.
Born and raised in Freetown, Chris eventually served on the town's Board of Selectmen. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army's Military Police training school and UMass Amherst. Chris was honorably discharged from the Massachusetts National Guard. He has written for numerous publications and worked for a time for Boston Herald Radio. Not a bad resumé.
But all that said, getting back on the air regularly at WBSM is one of the big motivators for Chris McCarthy.
“I plan to return to the radio station,” Chris said. “I plan to live a normal life.”
I know you all join me in wishing Chris McCarthy a speedy and successful victory in his latest challenge and anticipate the day when he will rejoin us for his daily broadcasts that we all miss so much.
Chris McCarthy is more than a fighter. He is a rock star, a legend, an inspiration, and a friend. Godspeed, Chris. You've got this, buddy.
If you would like to send a card to Chris, here's where to send it:
General Hospital, Attention: Chris McCarthy
Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696