Drumroll please…the 5 winners of Transplant and Kidney Disease Health Activist, Danea Horn’s amazing book, “Chronic Resilience” are:
Winners will be notified by email today!
Below is the final installment in the 3 part mini-series, written by Danea.
My husband, Phillip, and I had just pulled up to a Thai restaurant for dinner. He turned off the car, looked over at me and said, “I can donate my kidney to you.” There were no words, only tears in my eyes.
When Phillip received the final test results that he was healthy enough to become my donor, I was tired, swollen and bruised. Being in kidney failure is no picnic. Aside from the physical toll the buildup of toxins take, your mind swims in a soup of emotions.
There is disappointment in a body that isn’t operating well; plus fear of the upcoming surgery and immunosuppressant therapy. These are contrasted with an immense amount of gratitude and love. It is the whole of the human experience jumbled together.
Our procedures were two months after we received final approval for donation. I was fortunate to have my transplant preemptive of needing dialysis. On October 7, 2013, we checked into the hospital at 5:30 AM. The morning flew by.
Phillip’s operation started an hour ahead of mine, a very nerve-wracking hour of waiting to know that he was doing OK and that the transplant would move forward. With a sigh of relief, I was wheeled into the operating room and the rest of that day was a blur.
I woke up that evening in recovery feeling a distinct tightness in my lower left abdomen where the kidney had been placed. I have never felt a greater sense of thanksgiving, comfort and joy from knowing that things had gone as planned.
Within 24 hours of surgery my kidney function was normal. Normal! Phillip gifted me with a powerhouse kidney that quickly drained the fluids which had built up in my legs and created a renewed sense of clarity in my previously fuzzy mind.
Recovery was much easier than I had been expecting. We spent a few days in the hospital shuffling hand-in-hand around the transplant unit. We were cared for by wonderful nurses who would spend time teaching me about my new medications and how to care for my precious kidney.
We both feel honored to have participated in the miracle of transplantation. We are grateful for the skill, technology, and medications that have made our exchange possible. Our minds have been blown at the ability of our transplant team to translate Phillip’s generosity into my salvation.
It has been four months since the transplant. Phillip is doing great. He got a road bike shortly after surgery and has been enjoying his new hobby. Things are back to normal for me too…with one exception – every day is an exercise in giving thanks: for health, for love, and for all the small stuff in between.
From this recipient to each donor, or potential donor, thank you, thank you, thank you. It was dark until you provided the light, and the future could not be brighter.