New life fuels generosity

Grateful patient Jan Stier (left) and his wife, Pat (right), spend time in the Wilmot Botanical Gardens reflecting on their journey with UF Health.

Jan Stier used to be called the “mystery man.” That’s because before UF Health, no physician could diagnose him.

Four years ago, Stier came to UF Health using a walker. He was struggling after suddenly losing his mobility. When others could not, UF Health recognized Stier was suffering from an allergic reaction caused by a medication prescribed by a local doctor.

“After two doses, I felt like I was dying,” Jan Stier said. “UF Health fixed me up and sent me home for the first time. That was our introduction.”

UF Health has been there for Stier ever since, including when he learned he had bladder cancer. The urology care providers, including Paul L. Crispen, M.D., and Betsy Stacy, PA-C, immediately started treatment to clear the cancer as Stier’s kidneys began to fail. At that time, Stier was in stage 4 kidney failure and on dialysis, which is when he met Amir Kazory, M.D., FASN, FACC, professor and chief of nephrology at the UF College of Medicine.

Kazory and his staff trained Stier on how to do home dialysis. With help from his wife, Pat, Stier underwent home dialysis for three years while awaiting a kidney transplant. Then, three days before this past Christmas, the mystery man received the best present possible — a kidney.

“We got a call at 6:30 in the morning saying, ‘Can you come in? We have a kidney for you,’” Stier said. “We jumped right on it.

Amir Kazory (left), M.D., FASN, FACC, professor and chief of nephrology at the UF College of Medicine, and Jan Stier (right) catch-up while walking.

“I wasn’t nervous at all. Actually, I was very happy.”

Stier said Kazory and every physician at UF Health were reassuring and kind during his treatment and eventual transplant. The staff made Stier and Pat feel a part of the UF Health family.

“We never had a bad experience,” Pat Stier said. “They’re very welcoming, and we just can’t say enough about it.”

Stier echoed the sentiment.

“When you’re a person who has bad health, you think, ‘Gee, are they going to do a good job where I’m going?’” Stier said. “We had heard UF Health does a good job, but they also proved they do a great job.

“There was never a bad or sad moment whatsoever.”

Thanks to the care from UF Health, Stier is back to enjoying walks with Pat and their 9-year-old greyhound, Missy. He’s also excited to spend more time with his family, including his and Pat’s new great-grandchild.

“We feel like Jan has a new life,” Pat said.

This ‘new life’ fuels Stier’s generosity.

“I am just one little patient,” said Stier, who has made several generous gifts to UF Health. “It’s just a natural thing to do. UF Health takes care of everybody, and it’s a whole package. By donating, it certainly makes a difference for other patients.”

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