Does this picture (below) not say it all? Today, we learn of a Mother’s unconditional love for her Son and how she donated her Kidney to him – without hesitation!
The Search for a Donor (Told by Carolyn, Josh’s mother)
When Josh was born, the doctors told us right away that he would need a transplant at some point. To get “ahead” they started testing anyone who was willing. He was still just an infant. I knew before they even asked that I would be willing to donate. Josh’s dad also said he would be tested. So we both started the process. As we were going through preliminary blood tests, his dad was found to have a transmittable blood illness that made him ineligible. He was furious that he was ineligible. When I was found to be an almost perfect match, the relationship with my husband (Josh’s dad) deteriorated further. The search was over. Josh had his donor.
When Josh was 18 months old, he was very curious about things. He was exploring his world, touching things with buttons, like little ones do. And then he touched my husband’s stereo. His reaction was to lash out and start spanking, instead of diverting his attention to something else. When I intervened, he hit me and I walked out with Josh. He refused counseling and that was the end of our relationship. We were divorced soon after Josh turned 2. Josh doesn’t really remember him.
Josh was off dialysis from somewhere around 3 1/2 or so until he was 6. So the transplant was put on hold until he really needed it. And then he got very ill. He went back on dialysis and the need for the transplant was imminent. Josh had both his kidneys removed about 6 weeks before the transplant. The one had never developed and the other was really small, but there was still some output. They were concerned that the one that was working some would interfere with his new kidney, so they removed both.
September 17, 2003 changed our lives forever. I had never had surgery in my life—Josh was an old pro. But it was different this time. I was always right there in the pre-op room with him when he had surgery. I was always waiting in post op for him. But this time, I was in pre op of my own. I was at St. Louis University Hospital, which is connected by an underground tunnel to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. That was Josh’s hospital from the time he was born. My best friend was with me, trying to calm me down. My mother was with Josh and he was calming HER down. I don’t remember much. I remember being wheeled into a VERY cold room and feeling like everyone was staring at me. I prayed that I wouldn’t be allergic to the anesthesia. I prayed the surgery would be successful. But most of all I prayed for my little boy, in a similar cold room, in a hospital just a tunnel away.
When I woke up in recovery, the first thing I heard was that my kidney started working in Joshua’s body right away, making urine in the operating room. And then I exhaled—and thanked God for this significant gift of life.
The Full Story
In case you missed the first two articles, you can read the full story by following these links:
- Part 1 – The Diagnosis
- Part 2 – Josh’s Childhood with Kidney Disease
- Part 3 – The 1st Transplant
- Part 4… coming soon!
The Need for a Living Donor Now…
Although Josh received a Kidney from his Mother… that was 14 years ago. Donated Kidneys do eventually fail. Josh is in need of a new Kidney, and the timing is now.
Will you consider becoming a Living Donor? Even if you aren’t an exact match for Josh, you could be a match for someone else in need. Too many people with Kidney Disease are dying just waiting to see if a match is made. Living Donors can drastically reduce that waitlist – what a Gift you could provide!
For Josh, the process begins with a simple phone call (the number is posted below). The hospital will ask you a few preliminary questions, then mail you a packet of information. If you fit the bill as a potential match, they’ll schedule blood work to be done. From Josh’s Medical facility:
For more general information on Kidney Donation, please visit: https://www.kidney.org/transplantation/livingdonors