Steve was smiling as he lifted his foot up for me to see.
“My toenails are pink again mum, look.” Sure enough they were. We ended up laughing like a couple of children. It was certain proof the new kidney was functioning well, but I laughed even more when he said, “And guess what? I had a pee today and it felt so good.”
My big adult son had not told me he had urinated for a good many years. It was one aspect of the kidney failure and dialysis we had never discussed. Until that moment I had not realised the full extent of the problem. Now, here he was as pleased as punch that he had achieved what we all take so much for granted: the simple daily task of urinating! Healthy pink toenails and the ability to pee whenever he wanted to go (and to actually want to!) was a cause for celebration to Steve now.
Unless anyone has lived through the experience, I doubt they could possibly understand the emotions involved. The thoughts that terrify you, the words you dare not speak. The hopeless and helplessness, that pervade your every waking moment. Mum is supposed to be able to ‘kiss it better’ for her child but my own kidney was not compatible! What sort of Mother am I? I could do nothing to help my son. Then came the hope. But the fear again surfaces, as Steve was prepared for the operation. But dare I let the hope surface? Finally it was over! My son smiled as he came around from the anaesthetic.
‘Everything went well”. The doctor said. The words “Thank you’ seemed so inadequate, but they were all I had.
Within a few days he was looking so much better and soon after Steve came home from the hospital, he was back driving his car and playing his beloved guitar. Making music and singing. Telling jokes and laughing. I had my boy back!
I will be forever grateful to the donor of Steve’s new kidney and his family. What a difference his ultimate sacrifice made to, not only my Son’s life, but many others also. A ‘Gift of Love! A gift of life’. My prayers were answered, my son is recovering!
I know the family of the kidney donor will never know my son, but I like to think, they could maybe read this little story and know that because of their truly unselfish action, despite their own grief, they gave the gift of life, not only to my son that day, and everyone one of them bless them every day. Yes, there are many times when, ’Thank you’ really is inadequate! This is one of them! God bless you all.
TWELVE YEARS LATER
The kidney lasted 12 years. Steve lived his life to the full creating his music and used each day with love. He was grateful for every day his new kidney gave him. So many times giving thanks to the donation of life.
Just months ago his kidney began to fail. The doctors did all they could for Steve. It was back to the dialysis and back on the treadmill of 12 years ago. The fatigue, depression, and the monster but life-giving dialysis machine. My son-in-law was tested and compatible to donate his kidney, but by the time all tests were finalised Steve’s health had deteriorated so badly he was too weak to take the operation. My son passed away just before Christmas, but not before he told me once again he was so grateful for the 12 extra years he had been blessed with. I add my thanks to all donors who save so many lives. God Bless you all.