The Road to Healing

“Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for another.”

The Road to Healing

Karen:  In 2004 my mom suffered kidney failure and started dialysis at 75. It was very hard on her while my older sister tested to be a donor and was ruled out. Then my older brother tested and was unable to donate. It’s important to note that they are both biological children and I was adopted. I was also a single mom raising two kids at 37, so needless to say I was scared to donate, but I prayed and my growth group prayed with me. Come to find out, a man sitting beside me had donated his kidney to his daughter and was doing great 18 years later. I also kept seeing signs to remind me that “greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for another,” so I stepped up and was deemed acceptable but had to lose 40 pounds to do so.

Mom was getting more drained by the day. I lost the weight in 8 weeks and surgery was scheduled for October, but mom suffered a hematoma and surgery was put off till February for her healing. The waiting was tough. It made me second guess but I still did it.  In February 2005, she was able to stop dialysis after I donated my kidney to her and my prayer was that God would take care of us. It’s because of seeing the toll mom and my grandma went through on dialysis I knew I could never do that. Lesson learned. Never tell God what you can’t do!

Fast forward 14 years. I got kidney cancer and had a partial nephrectomy in September of 2019. Unfortunately surgery had complications and I had a collapsed lung, respiratory distress, and internal bleeding that resulted in a 34 day hospital stay including a medically induced coma for 2 weeks. My family was unsure if I would make it or not. I remember asking God to take me as I was on a ventilator and unconscious, but He said it wasn’t my time yet, He had great plans for me. My kids still needed me so I asked Him to heal me. Within 2 days I was awake, and the next day the ventilator came out. A few days after that I left ICU for a regular room. That only lasted 2 days before being discharged to rehab for 2 weeks where I learned how to walk again.

Unfortunately, my kidney never woke up after that surgery even though I still had 78% left, but they think the medications they gave me for the coma were too strong and could have damaged it further. Thus began my time on dialysis and boy was it miserable. Three times a week I would go in and be hooked up to a life-saving machine for 3 hours, then be exhausted after with muscle cramps, nausea, high blood pressure, headaches, and overall feeling miserable. I had numerous surgeries for peritoneal dialysis but it never worked. I had numerous hospital stays for high blood pressure, headaches, abdominal pain, and bowel obstructions. It was the roughest 33 months of my life.

I was finally approved for a transplant in April of 2022 and on Mother’s Day May 8, 2022 I got a new kidney! Praise God for only He could schedule that! After giving my mom a kidney in 2005, He gave me one on Mother’s Day- amazing! It’s now several months later and although it hasn’t been a picnic I am so thankful to be on the road to health and healing. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

We celebrated my parents 69th wedding anniversary this past Sunday and I’m so thankful for all that God has done and continues to do on a daily basis for me! To God be the glory!

“Never tell God what you can’t do!”

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