Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One more person with a working kidney...and counting

Zach's surgery went perfectly and he is recovering well! Suzi, Zach's wife, has updated his blog with the latest should you want to follow their amazing story.

The very exciting news is that his donation does not end here. There could potentially be many more people who receive healthy living donor kidneys in the next few months because of what he has started. The recipient of his kidney has someone willing to donate to someone he/she doesn't know but matches, who in turn has someone willing to's called a "chain donation." It's the ultimate "pay it forward" concept.

Thank you, family and friends, for your loving support and prayers for Zach and his family. I look forward to following his story and seeing how far his gift reaches.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Prayers for a friend today

Several months ago the husband of a good childhood friend of mine was tested to donate Darren a kidney. He was not a match to Darren, of course, but felt very lead to pursue living donation. He has, and tomorrow (Monday), he will be donating one of his kidneys to someone he doesn't know. And that person has someone who will donate to another, and hopefully a chain of donation will be started and not end until as many lives as possible have been touched.

Please pray today for Zach and his wife Suzi that the surgery will go smoothly, the recipients body will accept this kidney and that recovery will be swift and successful. I am in awe of what Zach is doing, and have goosebumps thinking of the life(s) that will be forever changed because of this amazing gift.

Below is part of an email from Suzi with a little more information about the surgery. When I was thinking of what I could do to support them, I knew that what was the biggest support to us through all of this was our amazing family and friends, and the power of your prayers. So pause today and say a prayer for Zach and Suzi, and for the recipient of Zach's kidney.


Many of you may (or may not know) that Zach is donating a kidney. We received a call last week letting us know that the date is set for Feb. 8th...coming up soon! The kidney will be going to someone we do not know, it's called a non-directed donation or benevolent donation. Zach was tested earlier in the year to be a match for a friend, but was not a match. He then felt that since he would be willing to do it for his friend, why not for someone else? He has really felt a specific calling to do this, and is as ready as he can be for Monday's surgery and the recovery phase.

Please pray for him in the preparation/healing, and most importantly during the surgery - Monday Feb 8th, starts around 7:45am and goes until around 11:00am. Prayer is the most powerful and meaningful thing you can do for us. Please also pray for the recipient and their family. Pray that the kidney would take and the recipient will have a positive outcome.

That's about it for now. Thanks so much for your friendship and support. We feel so loved by all of you



Zach's blog:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

No news is in fact good news.

I've started several update posts the past few weeks, but with Darren home, back to work full time and the holidays thrown in there for good has officially been a chaotic month! However, now that Christmas has passed, I have a moment to sit down (in bursts, I still do have a 3 year old) and let you all know that...Yes, it is true, no news is in fact good news. ;)

Darren has been back home for almost 3 weeks, and continues to heal. He feels a little better each day, although recovery this time around has been slow. Even with this kidney working well, the extended amount of time he was on dialysis took such a toll on his body that it could be a while before he really starts to feel normal. However, with all that his creatinine is down to 1.93 which is the lowest its been yet. Couldn't ask for a better Christmas gift!

It's been a truly peaceful and blessed Christmas. I can't give thanks enough for Darren's recovery and the prospect of a healthy future. I'm also so thankful for the time with my family. I often think of the family of the woman who was the donor of this kidney, and through all the joy and thankfulness we feel I'm sure there is equal grief. We have an opportunity to write to her family, and I've started 100 letters in my mind...but never quite know how to articulate my gratitude. I guess I just hope that they'll find some solace in the fact that their loved one lives on through the life and health that she gave to others like Darren.

Thanks, again, to everyone for all of your love and support. I promise to do better posting good, boring, healthy news as often as possible. ;)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Home Sweet Home (take 2)

Darren is home from his second week long stay at the hospital in the past 3 weeks! I think we've logged our time (and have gotten our insurance's attention).

It is so wonderful to have him home and to know that he can pick up where he left off on healing from the surgery. He feels and looks good, it's such a blessing. This morning we got the news that his creatinine is going back down, which is such a relief.

I'm happy to leave the hospital food and excitement behind us for a while, and get back to celebrating the amazing gift of having a healthy husband and Daddy at home. Our deepest gratitude to all of our faithful family and friends who have swooped in and supported us through all of this, we really have felt and appreciated your loving support.

Glad we only have to deal with life one day at a time. ;)

Our comic relief showing off the fancy hospital socks while taking Daddy for a stroll...and "silly face" made by Darren's nurse. Oh the fun a 3 year old can find in a hospital!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Results In....

The results of the biopsy done on Darren's kidney came back late in the day today, and there are NO signs of rejection in his kidney! Wooohooo! Big exhale...

Dr. Cryst, Darren's Nephrologist, said the kidney does show some damage, but most likely that's because it's such an early transplant. It's very likely any "damage" it shows now will correct itself over time. In the meantime they have put Darren on extra IV fluid (Darren has not been able to drink more than a very small amount for 5 years so it's hard for him to break that habit) and he will at the hospital again tonight. They want to ensure that all his numbers look good tomorrow, so no commitment yet as to when he'll be able to come home...However, we all will sleep better tonight knowing that his new kidney is being made welcome by Darren's body. ;)

I know I say this every night, but thank you for all your prayers and support. We could not do this without our family and friends, you have been our rock.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Results Tomorrow

I just got home from the hospital (okay, I got home an hour ago but had to run around outside and thaw all our spigots and cover's cold!). Darren had the biopsy done this afternoon, the procedure went well. We won't know the results until tomorrow however. He's looking and feeling good otherwise, and quite ready to leave the hospital. We've spent more time there in the last 3 weeks than we've spent at home...quite a bit more time!

We're both feeling hopeful that his creatinine going up is a result of the medications and the Serum Sickness, not rejection. Regardless, he's in the right place right now with the right team of people strategizing solutions for we're thankful for that.

I'll put up a post tomorrow once we get the results of the biopsy. I'm renewed after seeing him tonight, he just looks so much better...and I'm thankful for his restlessness in the hospital, that means he feels good enough to not be there anymore (the hospital is a wonderful place...until you feel better, then all you want to do is get out of there!)

Thank you all for your faithful prayers and support for us. We feel every bit of it, and can't thank you enough...we are humbled and overwhelmed by the love we have experienced through all of this.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Roller Coaster Continues

After some good news on Friday it appears we are back on the roller coaster. Darren's creatinine came back up again yesterday, and some more again today to 3.3. They think that one of his anti-rejection drugs is the culprit (this particular drug can actually damage the kidney if he gets too much of it, so it's monitored closely). They've backed off on this drug in the hopes that it will correct itself, but it hasn't yet.

Therefore Darren will continue to stay at the hospital and tomorrow they'll do a biopsy of the kidney to see if there are any signs of rejection. That's the only true way to tell if the kidney is okay or not.

The Serum Sickness has gotten much better. Darren is able to walk now and the pain is under control, so we're thankful to be on the upside of that issue at least.

This has all felt like such a setback, and our hearts are heavy with the news this morning. Please pray for not only the healing of Darren's body and kidney, but for his spirits too. It's been a very trying week and although the care he has received has been wonderful...hospitals can be a depressing place...particularly with the waiting. Please also keep me in your prayers, it is hard to be on the sidelines. Even though it feels like life has stopped, it continues to go on and all the stresses of the day to day weigh heavily on me when I reenter reality and realize how far behind we are on everything. I've missed a lot of work, have maxed out my paid time off and have all the millions of day to day tasks hovering over my head at the moment. I know everything will work out, God is so faithful and we are so blessed...we continue to find our strength in Him. "Nothing is impossible with God." (Luke 1:37)

Thanks again to all of you for your continued love and support.