I was surprised at how strong my emotional response was when I left the hospital. As the guy wheeled me down the hall, I remembered being wheeled up in a bed shortly after surgery. I remembered the moment of fear when I had to say goodbye to my husband…and I couldn’t stop the tears. The OR techs wiped my face and reminded me that they were going to take good care of me. I remember how I wanted to cry when Tod first told me the kidney was working in Katherine’s body, but it hurt too much so I tried not to think about it. I think about the incredible gift of life that I was privileged to offer.
Words simply cannot do this experience any justice. I have created a special bond with a wonderful woman and we have extended our family to include hers. I am humbled and honored to have had the great privilege of offering a physical part of my body to a friend.
Our celebration the night before surgery was awesome – it was a great opportunity to meet each others family and friends and have a powerful time of prayer. We all chuckled when Judy prayed for these to be “super kidneys.” We were also remembering those prayers when after surgery Katherine’s numbers were even better than the average person with 2 kidneys! Talk about a super kidney!
I don’t want to forget all the great things that happened because of this choice. Things like my long 30 minute conversation with my nurse that first night. Things like how God showed himself faithful to his daughter Katherine by using someone she would have never even thought about. Things like how I adore my husband for coming along this journey with me and supporting every decision. I am thankful for the peace God gave me the night before and morning of surgery. It was that peace that enabled me to hop on that stretcher and get wheeled off away from Chip when it was time for surgery. I remember the eyes of so many people who love Katherine….their eyes said what their mouths couldn’t…I will always remember those eyes. And about my dear Katherine, in one way I am sad because this portion of the journey is over, but at the same time I know we will never be the same. I started off not really knowing this woman, and now I have such a deep love for her and for her family, and we share a story which has affected many lives.
I have more I’d like to write, but I cannot do it because I will cry and it still hurts too much for that! They are tears of great joy because I am continually amazed at what God has done in and through me.
Katherine and Tod, I am so happy we have had the chance to get to know you better. I continue to pray that that “super kidney” continues to provide for your body for the rest of your life on this earth. Knowing that my kidney is working so well in your body makes every bit of pain worth it. I love you.