Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

After almost two years of waiting and poking and prodding, six months of dialyzing, and about four weeks of nailbiting, a small Christmas miracle occurred. Mom got a kidney transplant. Granted thousands of these operations happen every year, it still seems surreal and amazing. The organ starting functioning almost immediately, and thus far there have been no complications. I didn't think the day would arrive so soon or wash over us all so smoothly. Best of all, Mom sounds great. It's literally like she has her life back. There's a different note of hope in her voice now. For the time being she needs a lot of sleep and a few more weeks of monitoring, and she cannot be in crowds for a while. What a small price to pay for another shot.

We don't know the exact identity of the donor. I want to send my thanks to her and her family, a 26-year-old schizophrenic who had a seizure while in an institution. The tribulations this young woman experienced must have been so painful for her loved ones to witness. Having to make a decision to give others the gift of life in the midst of such grief and anguish is so selfless and courageous.

[public service announcement] Don't know what to gift for the holidays? Please sign the back of your license and become an organ donor. Yes, it's hard to look mortality in the face and prepare for the worst. This small act will allow your family the peace to not have to make a decision for you, and will give a number of people a second chance on health and happiness. Those two things are priceless.