My “Grampa” needs a new kidney
After 4 long years and nearly 600 sessions of dialysis, Karl and his family are so excited and grateful that he is now on the top of the kidney transplant list. To assist in increasing costs, they have created a fundraiser with a nonprofit organization called Help Hope Live.
April 1, 2020
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
I woke up after sleeping pretty well for a few hours. At least as well as is possible in a hospital room when the nurse comes in every hour and other people at intervals.
Speaking of the nurses…
These nurses and CNAs and all the staff are so impressive! We are so grateful for them! When half the world is freaking out about viruses and earthquakes, these guys are just going forward, taking care of one patient at a time. Quietly doing what they have always done.
Here, the whole transplant unit was just moved to a new location because their former area has been reserved for COVID-19 patients. Everyone is in new territory in so many ways: new location, new – and constantly adjusting – rules and regulations because of the virus. They are doing a phenomenal job!
When we checked in at the hospital (about 3 am on Tuesday), they told us that no one is allowed any visitors in the hospital right now -except for transplant patients. Transplant patients are allowed one visitor. Not one at a time or one a day. One visitor -the same one-for the whole 3-5 day hospital visit. Wow…
The cafeteria is a skeleton of what it used to be, with all the tables put away. Go get your food and go back to your room. Don’t congregate. This cafeteria is designed to feed and seat hundreds of people! The hall where lines usually form has red tape on the floor at 6’ intervals, with the words, “6’ social distancing “ printed on the tape.
When I went to get dinner at 6 pm last night, there was only one serving area open, and 3 people standing apart from each other waiting in line. When I got to the pay station, the clerk asked me “Do you work here?” “No. My husband just had emergency transplant surgery.” I don’t think he sees many like me right now.
When we arrived they wrote down my name and number so that they could put it in the database or whatever they are using. They said if anyone questioned me, I could tell them I’m on the list of approved visitors.
Even with that, it still feels hopeful and happy here. Everyone has been kind and helpful. When I got lost trying to find the surgical waiting room, a kind soul in scrubs, mask, and gloves showed me the way. She said she didn’t know if there would be volunteers there to help me. There were none. Only one hospital staff woman, who said she finished her whole day’s work already. No visitors; not much to do.
When Karl’s surgeon came to talk to me after the surgery, we were the only ones in the waiting room. He couldn’t shake my hand. He said things are adjusting every day. He suggested that I go back to the room to wait for Karl to get out of recovery. No congregating.
The surgery went really well. The deceased donor kidney is healthy and seems to be working for Karl very well. The doctor said it woke up and started working and had already produced a lot of urine since he put it in.
I am so grateful for that donor and his/her family who were willing to give Karl that kidney! It’s a chance for a new life. I’m so grateful to God for creating our bodies to heal themselves and that those tissues that make up a kidney know how to act, even when they were shut down for awhile. When they were given a chance to start doing what they were created to do again, they accepted the opportunity and now continue to fill the purpose of their creation. That may sound funny, but that’s how I see it right now. What a miracle! We are praying that this kidney continues to function for a long time more.
It makes me think about people in general. We are all designed to do something unique and special. Something that no one else can do quite like we can. Something that our Creator gives us to do to bring joy to our own lives and to lift and bless those around us. He will show us what those unique gifts are and will help us use them for good – if we will let Him.
If this is a bit disjointed, it’s because my typing and editing skills on my phone are slow at best, and there are often interruptions.
We, Karl and I and our family, are so grateful for the faith and prayers of so many people! I know a lot of people are praying for a lot of things right now, not just for us. We are, too. Our hearts go out to all those who are losing jobs, losing loved ones, losing faith. And especially to those who are keeping the faith despite so many challenges.
We say, Keep the faith! Faith in God. Faith in people! There is so much good in the world! So much to look forward to.
Thank you to all who are praying for Karl. We can feel your faith.
March 31, 2020
Monday (3/30) afternoon it was confirmed that the living donor transplants, scheduled for April 7th was cancelled due to COVID19 and would be postponed indefinitely.
However, the very same day my Dad was put on alert again for a deceased donor transplant. He was not very high on the list so out expectations that it would go through were very low.
Around 10:30PM last night, my Dad received another call and was told that the kidney was his if he wanted it. Despite some of the concerns that have arisen because of the corona virus, he said they would accept it and was then told to “come right now”. Rushing to get things prepared, my parents left around 11:30pm for the hospital last night and arrived at University of Utah Medical Center around 2:45am.
They proceeded with all the pre-surgery tests and went into surgery around 8:00 this morning. Then about 11:00am my Mom was told that the surgery was completed and the doctor would come talk to her. When the doctor came, he told her that the surgery well really well, the kidney was very healthy and as soon as they put it in it started right up. It is doing exactly what kidneys need to do in the body.
We are so grateful that things turned out so well. Thank you so much for your prayers. We are also very grateful for the deceased person and their family that gave my Dad a kidney. Please pray for that family as well!
At this point, all we know is that he will be in the hospital for 3-5 days and then have to stay close to the hospital for a month while they continue to monitor the new kidney and make sure it is functioning properly.