Today is the two week anniversary of my kidney transplant and God continues to bless my recovery and my family. We are truly blessed and truly humble by the outpouring of love and concern that we have received.
Obviously, I continue to thank Keith and Kate personally as well as thank God for their generosity, love and selfless spirit. They are true examples of the Christian principles that we should all strive for: Putting others before ourselves. I know that their example will change my life for ever. Every time I have a selfish though I will be reminded of what Keith, with the support of Kate, did for me.
Two weeks post op I continue to get better and better and am now walking about 2 miles a day. The soreness is mostly gone and I am doing just great. I have good energy and good stamina and all of the problems associated with little to no kidney function are gone. Keith’s kidney has literally restored my life. While I will have a medication regimen for the rest of my life and I will need to monitor my vital signs and weight daily, I will have very few other restrictions — none that really matter in the grand scheme of things. So you can see what the gift of this kidney has done. It has made me whole again. And just importantly, it has made life better for Sheila, Lauren and Allison. Without the transplanted kidney we would have had to make some life style changes that would have changed the way our family operated. (Certainly, we could have adjusted — but none the less the adjustments would have been significant.) Instead, Keith steps forward and gives of his time and his kidney and goes through the discomfort of the surgery all so I could be normal again.
I know that you have all heard Keith say and seen him write that it was all worth it and that the 6 days off and the discomfort are not significant considering the benefit that you give to the recipient. However, I will always be grateful to Keith for his sacrifice and willing spirit. Hopefully, Keith and I can inspire others to consider live donation with our stories. He, with his story of how little there is to endure to help a fellow human being. Me, with my story of how it has changed my life.
We also want all of you to consider being an organ donor upon your death. Those of us that are Christians believe that we leave this earthly vessel that we no longer need. If we, in our death, can help some father, mother or child to lead a healthy, productive life what greater legacy could we leave? I know of a family that lost a child about 20 years ago. They donated his organs. To this day those organs are allowing two fathers to have a normal life with their families. How wonderful to think that in tragedy can come some hope. Please consider being and organ donor.
With two weeks behind me, and a new kidney in me, I feel so blessed by the whole process. I assure you that one doesn’t go through this without being changed. My intent is to stay “changed.” To never take the gift of a more normal life for granted. The “pay forward” the generosity that I have received. To be more patient. To be more interested in the needs of others — even strangers. To be selfless instead of selfish. I won’t be perfect. I’ll slip. I’ll need all the grace that I have always needed before. But I won’t forget. And each of you has permission to remind me of my journey and my blessing should the need arise.
I thank you for all of you prayers, calls, blog post, email, cards, gifts and every other nice thing that you have all done for my family. All are truly appreciated. We love you all.
I hope to see you all soon. Take care and God bless. The last two weeks have been awesome.