A Spiritual Journey

In November 2005 there was an article in our local newspaper about a young woman, Kristy Roberts, who needed a kidney.  She was asking for a Type O donor.  My daughter, Ann, and I were taking our early morning walk when she saw it in the driveway and said, “Mom, this is for you.”  When I looked at it – God touched me and I felt it was meant for me.  I had the required blood drawn and the testing done.  The antigens she had would have rejected my kidney so I thought that was the end of it.  By the way, I did not know Kristy but my husband, Lad, did.

Every morning since November 2005, I have prayed for God to give Kristy the miracle of a good kidney.  Kristy contacted me again around November 2006 asking if I would still be interested in donating my kidney – that Johns Hopkins had a way of making the transplant work.  I told her to “bring it on!”  We filled out the paperwork in November and heard from the hospital around March of 2007.  The actual testing began taking place in May of 2007 with a trip to Johns Hopkins in August.  I was cleared for the surgery in October 2007.  Kristy had so much paperwork and testing to go through – well, I just had to be patient.  I have kept a diary of this entire process.  Two weeks before the scheduled surgery I was having my prayer and devotion time, praying again that He bless Kristy with the miracle of a good kidney.  I then heard a clear voice whether in my head or heart I am not sure – “But, it is not going to be yours.”  I sat there for a minute, thinking on this.  I said, “OK, God.  You are in charge and this time I am going to be quiet and wait on you.  You have a plan and I do not know what it is.  I am trusting you.”  I documented this in my diary afterward.  That same day, around 4:00 p.m., I had a message from Johns Hopkins wanting to talk to me.  I could not reach them so I called Kristy to see if she knew what was going on.  She said that Nikki had called her and said that they had found a better match for her.  I thought – well, praise the Lord!  It was so interesting that I had heard that same morning that Kristy would not be getting my kidney.  I made up my mind that somebody was going to get my kidney.  I had been through all the testing and knew I was healthy – I had it in my heart to donate.  After a few more days, I got the message about the 6-way kidney swap.  I was blown over!  God was doing so much more than I could have ever imagined.  I thought just Kristy was being helped but praise the Lord – actually two people were being helped!

Everyone involved in the six-way transplant had to be at Johns Hopkins early on April 5, 2008 for surgery.  I was prepped and talked to my surgeon before being taken to the operating room.  The staff was fast and efficient.  I was in there just a few minutes and I was “out.”  I was awakened later that afternoon, feeling a little groggy but not in a lot of pain.  I talked with my husband, doctors and nurses.  I was given medication for pain and the only problem I had was being nauseous during the first night.  The following day, the nurses had me up and walking the halls.  It was a little slow going but not bad at all.  I was discharged the following day.  My hospital stay was just a little over two days.  I can’t describe the joy and happiness I felt in knowing another person was being helped!  I stayed in Baltimore for one week before going home to North Carolina.  I had no problems after the surgery.  In fact, I feel better since having the surgery.  I can’t tell I’ve had the surgery except by looking at my incisions.  I can’t say enough good things about the Johns Hopkins Transplant Team.  They were awesome!  Praise the Lord!