Saturday, November 14, 2009

November 14th - a new day to remember

After several months of blatantly ignoring my blog updates, how shocked you must be to see a second post...just a day after the last! However, in the last 24 hours I think I have enough material to write, well, 24 I'll keep this to the point (mainly because I need sleep), and will rejoice to let this post be one of happiness, praise and thankfulness.

Yesterday (Friday, November 13th) we received the coveted
call from Virginia Mason Transplant Coordination Team saying that there was a possible kidney match for Darren. Exciting...well yes, however quite cautiously exciting. (This is the 4th call like this we have received over the past 5 years, and as you can probably guess...the last 3 have not turned out well.) After many hours of waiting, the call came in (around 5:23pm..just roughly) that this kidney was a match (insert mumbo jumbo crossmatch, antigen, etc. language here I can't articulate at the moment). And not only was it a match, but it was a very good match...and not only was it a very good match, but Darren was first in line. After a few more hours of limbo, we were told at 9pm that we needed to be to the hospital at 11pm that night for pre-op...and to play the wait and see game.

After some scrambling, random packing and parents flying through the night to come be with Alice... We made it to Virgina Mason late last night hoping, waiting, preparing for what could be.

Let me back up for a minute... This kidney is not from a living donor or someone we know, this is from someone who made their wishes clear to be an organ donor should something unforeseeable happen to them. I can tell you, being on this side of things, the emotional conflict of this tragic circumstance happening to one family...mixed with the hopefulness of what it can do for another, is truly an overload of emotion. But what I do know–as the admittance nurse chuckled to see that Darren was an organ donor–is that if something were to happen to me...or God forbid, someone I love...I can only hope that knowing more lives were saved from one untimely tragic death is of some small comfort. We don't know all the circumstances of what happened, or why it happened to this organ donor...but I know that she has now saved at least one very important life. And that she was a match, a very good match, to Darren...for whatever that's worth.

Fast forward one very long night shuttling through the hospital, getting hooked up to IVs, chest X-rays, uncomfortable chai
rs, 3am questions about the same thing we were asked at 2am and 1am... AND news came in at 8am that the kidney had arrived, was indeed perfect and surgery was scheduled for 9am, Saturday, November 14th. Seven years and one day from the last transplant that transformed our lives.

After 3.5 hours of surgery I got word (with my faithful waiting room team: Christina and Cynthia) that Darren was out of surgery, everything went perfectly...and...the kidney was already working in Darren's body. A-men.

I'm home tonight, trying (so far not hard enough) to get a good night sleep as Darren is well cared for in the ICU at
Virgina Mason. Yesterday I grieved the loss of the kidney Cynthia so willingly gave seven years ago...and today, I cautiously let seep in that Darren has gotten another chance. The road has just begun... his body still has some adjusting to do, the mixture of intricate anti-rejection drugs has to be perfected, the kidney has to continue to function...but, we're here, with another chance.

Darren will be in the hospital for 4 or 5 days, and I will continue to update this blog (now that I have such great news!) with his status. Like I said, more hurdles are surly to come and the recovery is not immediate, but it is with trusting hearts that we continue this venture.

Off to bed...but not before I unplug the dialysis machine that hums in our room each night. I'll put him to rest, my pray
er is that his job is done.

Pre-surgery self-portrait at 1
am, November 14th — excited, nervous, hopeful...tired...


  1. Wonderful, absolutely wonderful!

    Lots of love, from the Eilerts

  2. Praise God for this wonderful news!!!!! I will be anxiously watching your blog for more updated news. Please let us know how we can help.

    Much love,

  3. Praise God!! Ironic the timing! Can't wait to hear more and to see you guys! Our prayers are with you!
    Zach, Suzi, Luke and Aaron

  4. HALLELUJA!! We are praying for a smooth recovery. God is good!

    Cami, Matt and Cole

  5. Oh my gosh!!!!! We are thrilled! AMEN!

  6. Elliot just asked me if water was leaking out of my eyes because I was sad or happy. Happy! Congratulations! You guys and the poor woman who donated so generously are in our thoughts.

  7. WOW, this is amazing news!!!! Kristi and I are thinking about you guys and hope that Darren's recovery is super fast.