Monday, February 16th, 7 A.M. – Discharge Day

It is Monday morning and I’m looking forward to going “home.”   I got my catheter out about 1 hour ago and it feels good to not be tethered down.   I will get my main line out of my neck in the next hour or so.   I’m not really very sore today.  I have been walking laps around the transplant unit.  The transplant floor is called “14 Roberts” and it is truly and amazing place.   Full of the best nurses and techs and more Doctors than I’ve ever seen before.

I’m on a full round of anti-rejection medication.   Some of it I will be on the rest of my life.   Some they will tamper off as I leave here today.  It has some side affects such as making your blood pressure high and making your blood sugar high.   So I will still be on medicine for hypertension and my even have to take some small does of medicine for high blood sugar. 

Today I will have meetings with the coordinators to discuss post-op clinic visits, medications, etc.   Then I will get discharged at some point.   I’m sure I will have to go to the clinic several times this week.  Maybe even as early as tomorrow.

I want to write more about the gift that Keith has given and want to give him an opportunity to write about it from his perspective.   I think will will both have some unique observations to make.   Being that we are not related it makes this a more interesting situation inasmuch as there are no family strings.   It just goes to so what true friendship can be all about.

I would like each of you to start thinking in terms of what you would do if you found out a friend or family member needed a gift of an organ.    What if you could make a living donation?   What would it mean to donate the organs of a loved one if a tragic situation occurred?   These are things to ponder before the events and to get your heart and head around.   I’m proud to say that long before all this I was designated an organ donor.   So at least from that regard I don’t feel like a hypocrite.    The question that I will never be able to answer is could I do what Keith did?   I want to think that I could.  But I’ve never been faced with that situation and now I guess I never will.    We will all just have to learn from Keith.

Keith and I are thinking of doing some speaking about our experience.   We think that since our chosen professions have given us some experience in speaking and since our story is fairly unique that maybe we can have and impact on people.  If you have any ideas about what that might look like, let one or both of us know.

You all have been so amazing.   I have read every post and I want you to know that everyone is special in it’s own way.   The community that this blog has create for all of us, but especially for me and family has been just incredible.   I think that it is so wonderful that technology can actually bring us together as a family and a community of believers.   People from all over the county and from all walks of life and from many churches all supporting each other and me and my family.   It really doesn’t get any better than that. 

I will write more later as I progress through clinics.  I will try to get my head around a profound thought or two as to what it means to live life after receiving a gift from Keith such as this.

More later,

Scott.

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About sskelton

42 years old. 2 lovely daughters. Married to high school sweetheart for 20 years. Interest included photography and motorcycles. Time is spent with family, church and youth soccer teams. And I practice law some too.
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17 Responses to Monday, February 16th, 7 A.M. – Discharge Day

  1. Becky Russell says:

    We will look forward to your thoughts. I think an interesting and unique angle is that you are lawyers that have been on opposing sides of the table in your profession. Keith’s generosity and your courage has given us all so much to think about…

    Hope the transition goes smoothly today. Love on that amazing mom for me! She is somebody special….but I know you know that! Hugs to you…

  2. Aimee says:

    Scott – We had just discussed at the office the other day that this would make a great story for Texas Lawyer. After you’re settled in there, or maybe after you get back to Lufkin, we can check into how to get that done. Hope today is a great day for you!

  3. Brent says:

    Morning Bud. I know that you will feel better getting out of there. Things are good here. No issues with work. Let me know if you need an update on anything. Also let me know if I can do anything around the house for Sheila and the girls. Keep plugging away and getting better. We still have a lot of quail to shoot…. or shoot at. Take care. I’ll call you in a day or so when you get settled in and rested up. If you need us to come up let us know.

  4. Terri Reed says:

    Scott, Clint & I are glad to hear you are doing so well. Know you are always in our thoughts & prayers. Your blog is amazing!

  5. Hollie Bartlett says:

    Glad to hear you are getting out of the hospital. Been out of town. Take it easy and do not over do it. We got your girls covered in Lufkin.

  6. Susan Faver says:

    I miss you- Have a good day.

  7. tara says:

    Hi Scotty,

    So glad that you are getting to get out of the hospital and get into a home environment. That will make you feel better. We love you and miss you. Let us know if we can do anything for your gilrs.

    Take care my sweet friend.
    T

  8. Melissa Smith says:

    Scott and girls,
    I worked the Walk to Emmaus this weekend. Your family and Keith’s family were lifted up in prayer by numerous people at numerous times. I was able to share your story with my “sisters” and we all celebrated in your continued recovery. They have all agreed to continue praying for complete healing, strength, and patience during this time of separation from your family. We rejoiced in the gift that Keith so selflessly gave to his friend. God bless you and Keith in your continued recoveries!

  9. Todd Catteau says:

    Your story is inspiring to all of us and sharing it with others is a must! Certainly makes you think what you’re willing to do for a friend. Keith has not just given a gift to you, he has given something to all of us.

    Glad you’re going well.

    Todd

  10. Jan Newman Carter says:

    Scott,
    So glad you’re doing so well. Our family has been connected with the “transplant” world for about two years now since my son-in-law works for a company called Southwest Transplant Alliance. He is a family services coordinator and is the one that talks to families about donating when they have a loved one near death. This has really enlightened us to this amazing section of life that you never think about until it affects you. Stay strong and know that God is totally in control no matter what!!

  11. Henriann Catteau says:

    Scott,
    Just wanted you to know that we continue to lift you, your family, Keith and his family up in prayer. We are praising God that everything has gone so smoothly. I hope you (and Keith) are able to continue to share your story; it has blessed our family and made a positive impact on our children. Blessings on your discharge day! Henriann Catteau

  12. Judi says:

    Hi Scott – Sounds like you’re doing great!!!!! We’ve been praying for you and will continue to do so. Relax some and, take it from me, don’t overdo!

  13. Keith Langston says:

    Scott and all,

    In response to Scott’s previous posting about my decision, I will offer the following observations about myself in particular and about our species in general.

    I will start with myself. First, a couple of facts that might shed some light on my decision to be Scott’s living donor. Although I am a practicing attorney, I have a degree in molecular biology from the Univ. of Texas at Austin. I have a keen interest in and appreciation for the human body, especially at a genetic and cellular level. Also my law practice, environmental and toxic torts, heavily incorporates the medical field. My mother has been an R.N. since 1970 working for a plastic surgeon in Lubbock (I was the kid standing in the O.R. doorway watching as her boss reconstructed a nose or a hand) and I worked at St. Mary’s Hospital in Lubbock for my last year of high school and first year of college. I say all this to give you my perspective: I was comfortable with the environment, with doctors, with the hospital and with the knowledge that I, and Scott, could live long, healthy productive lives with one kidney each. Many people do not share my comfort level, but please does not let that be an impediment.

    Second, I am a Christian. I believe it is our duty and mission, as commanded by Jesus himself, to take care of our fellow humans. In John 13:14-15 Jesus washes the feet of his disciples. Why? Although culturally antiquated in our day, it was a symbol of something greater. It was an act of humility and selflessness, and it was something they needed at the time. In verse 15 Christ says he left an example for his disciples to follow—we are to perform acts of service for one another.

    Third, my best friend since 7th grade, Detective Joel McNelly, inspired me. His sister, three years older than us, was diagnosed two years ago with AML (acute myelogenous leukemia) a rare, and typically fatal, blood cancer. Joel was the only match for her—his blood saved Caren’s life. She is now 491 days post-op and back to being a happy healthy mother of two beautiful girls. Both Joel and Caren were inspirational.

    Fourth, I am a dyed-in-the-wool yellow dog democrat. Therefore, I have a natural inclination to help everybody all the time. My wife worked for the great Congressman Charlie Wilson—who would no longer be with us if a generous organ donor had not provided him a new heart a few years ago. Congressman Wilson is one of those people who dedicated his life to doing everything he could to help others, whether they lived in Deep East Texas or half way around the world. Kate and I both had the privilege of working for Congressman Jim Turner before we were married. Through Jim and his family I was able to see first hand what it was like to make a difference in the lives of those he represented. I am deeply indebted to each of them, as they have been an example for me.

    Finally, I am plaintiff’s lawyer. I represent individual people on a daily basis—people who are terminally ill, have lost a loved one or whose lives have been destroyed in some terrible way. I have devoted my professional life to trying to help these people get back something they lost. Although I know some would disagree, I believe it to be a noble cause.

    Today, we live in world where there are hundreds of opportunities to help our fellow man. Many of us partake in these already through our religious organizations, community service or elsewhere. We can, and should, all do more. We also live in a world of modern medical miracles thanks to people like Dr. Goran Klintmalm. We should not stand idly by and pass up the opportunities we are given to dramatically change the lives of those around us. There are over 80,000 people right now on the kidney transplant waiting list. Any one of you could change one of those lives. Scott and I happened to be friends and colleagues but that should not be a barrier to helping those in need. There are 303 million people in the U.S., which means that .02% of our population could eliminate the kidney recipient waiting list altogether. Instead of a recipient list we would have a living donor list that would end the need for dialysis and give patients like Scott a much better chance at a normal life.

    Furthermore, like Scott, I have been a life-long organ donor. Everyone one of you should be too. The good Lord gave you a human body on temporary loan. If you are able to give life to someone through your passing then you should embrace that opportunity. There are hundreds of uses for your body—skin transplants for the burned, organ transplants (heart, liver, kidney, pancreas, lungs, and intestines), tissue transplants (bones, tendons, cornea, heart valves and veins), blood, marrow and stem-cells—and it can help many people. Even if your organs could not be used, donate your body to science. Your contribution could help develop a new procedure or train a young surgeon.

    The great Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that “Life’s most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” I think we should all look in the mirror each morning and ask ourselves that, and, I think each night as we think back on our day we must be able to answer that question meaningfully.

    I would like to thank each of you for your support throughout this process. I would like to thank my parents for caring for my children the past few days. And, most importantly I would like to thank my beautiful wife Kate for her tireless love—happy birthday and I love you.

    Keith Langston

  14. Darlene Wade says:

    God is truly an amazing God! I not only work with your wife, but feel we are also friends. When she told me of your trials, I never doubted for a moment that God would make a way for you. You’re a living testament as to what God can and will do. Take care and I will continue to pray for you.
    Darlene Wade

  15. Sheila says:

    Keith,

    You and Kate continue to amaze me. Your post is wonderful and very well said. I hope you are feeling well and that the soreness is getting better each day. Happy birthday to Kate and give your children hugs from me.

    Sheila

  16. Keith Langston says:

    Sheila,

    Thanks. I am continuing to get better, soreness is decreasing by the hour. I even sneezed today without howling in pain. I made it out to lunch with Kate today. I am going to continue to rest tomorrow but I’m headed back out to the real world on Thursday. Work to do and soccer to coach. Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers. I continue to do the same for you and the girls. I can only imagine how tough it is without Dad around. Look forward to seeing you guys again soon.

    Keith

  17. Marty Barnhill says:

    Keith,

    Great post. I feel like I have been preached to but I mean that as a true compliment. A message that stirs you and gives you hope and inspires you at the same time. I ran across a sermon of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s on the radio yesterday and he was speaking about what he wanted said about him at his death. Similar to the quote you recited in your post, he did not want to be remembered for winning the Nobel Peace Prize or the hundreds of awards he had received but, rather, he wanted people to ask — did he help the poor and those in need and did he feed the hungry and did he clothe the ones who needed clothes. In your own way, you carry on this tradition by inspiring us to do for others with your unselfish gift.

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