Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kidney Transplant

My mom has three older sisters. One of her older sisters has five daughters. One of those daughters, Jeana, has had a ton of health problems for as long as I can remember. She is diabetic. She had a ton of heart problems with major surgeries that followed.

About four years ago her kidney went out and she had to get dialysis a few times a week. She has been on the donor waiting list for over three years. She has been called four other times about receiving a donor kidney but ended up to not be compatible. Jeana has three sisters who flew up to Alaska (where Jeana lives) to visit last Monday. They had many fun activities planned all week and had a blast with each other.

On Thursday night Jeana received a call that she is number 3 on the waiting list. Pretty neat, but she knew not to get too excited. Early Friday morning she received another call and the doctors at University of Utah Hospital wanted her to fly right down to receive the kidney. Now, there were a few more tests to take, so again she tried not to get too excited. She woke up her sisters to tell them all the FANTASTIC news. They told me later it was like they were all little girls jumping and yelling and crying with joy.

Jeana hopped on the next flight, which was the only direct flight that day, to Salt Lake City! Bubbles and I picked her up, rushed her to the hospital to start the process. When we arrived, there were many blood tests and x-rays that had to be completed. The entire night we kept texting, emailing and FaceBooking the events with pictures so other family members and friends could be involved and updated. (her kids and husband couldn't fly down until Saturday evening!) By midnight all was a go for the operation Saturday morning at 8am.

Later, we found out they took the kidney out of the donor that night and began flushing it with fluids to get a jump start on the transplant. By 1pm on Saturday the surgery was complete, Jeana had a new kidney, and her life could begin again.

As an outsider I am thrilled and excited for her and her family. Her quality of life with increase and her energy too. But I also know that I really have no idea how miraculous this really is for her and her family. I may think about her every week or two but she had to live with this day in and day out.

After the surgery and again late last night Bubbles, Angie and I went again to visit her. As we waited in the waiting room there were other families there waiting for their loved ones who were receiving new lungs and a new heart. As we all gathered and talked together about our loved ones and how excited we are for them we also realized there is another family grieving because of their loss. It is a very unfortunate event that took place as a young healthy body builder was in a motorcycle accident (we are not exactly sure who the donor(s) is but after talking with the other families this is what we came up with) But through his passing it truly saved (at least) three other people! Wow! What a blessing to be an organ donor!

After visiting a few more times with Jeana, She looks great. She has great color, the whites of her eyes are really white, and she has peed a ton! YEAH! The incision is huge and painful, but it will only get better from here!

 Just walking into the hospital in her favorite (and lucky ) color PURPLE!! She also brought two purple bags with her!!
 This man is from Alaska and just received a kidney transplant two weeks ago!
 We're what?

 Got into her gown and reviewing medical history with a resident.
 Drawing lots, and lots of blood. Bubbles there for moral support!
 Off to X-rays...
 FINALLY she can drink as much water as she wants!
 And eat! YUMMY!
 A cute nurse putting her IV in.
 I was helping too!
 Right after surgery...Groggy and kinda out of it.
 Aww, her sweet heart is finally here!

1 Comment:

Alison Jane Hann said...

Your post has made me cry tears of happiness. God bless!