About me...

Pop the lid on my Mason Jar and meet my family. Jim {Jimma} and I have four kids, Creston (Ashley), Jami (Matt), Brandon and Chance. Our grandkids, Cade, Kirby, Eisley, Beck and Reed bring us more joy than any Mason Jar could ever hold. I am counting my blessings over and over and thanking God for His amazing love and grace.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Celebrating Two Years

Today marks a two year anniversary for our son Brandon and someone I have only briefly met, his friend Angie. The anniversary they celebrate is one that connected them in a very special way and forever bonded them together.

Brandon asked me to fly to Dallas to meet Angie and be a part of the big event. Angie and her family were anxious to meet me and asked Brandon if they could take us to dinner. Brandon and I met them at a restaurant and spent a wonderful evening getting acquainted. Everyone was interested in knowing mine and Jim’s feelings about the situation and seemed relieved to know we were supportive of what Brandon was doing. We all left excited, nervous and full of anticipation for the next day, making plans where and what time we would be meeting.

In 1995 Angie was diagnosed with kidney reflux, a degenerative disorder on her right kidney. With the diagnosis came the news that her left kidney wasn’t functioning. Angie struggled with medication to combat the kidney reflux with no success. Eleven years later in November 2006, Angie’s physician gave her the choice of dialysis or a transplant. After watching her parents go through dialysis and pass away, a kidney transplant was the only option Angie would consider.

At the time Angie was employed at Baylor as the manager in the Transplant Business Unit of Central Services. When Angie explained her condition to her co-workers, three of them including Brandon, offered to be tested for compatibility to give her a kidney. Several of Angie’s family members went through testing and only one was a match. He backed out and Brandon once again made his offer to Angie. This time she reluctantly accepted. Brandon went through testing and it turned out he was a perfect donor match for Angie.

Brandon and Angie went through months of testing and counseling prior to surgery. I’m sure there were times Angie was more than a little concerned that Brandon might back out. Knowing his character and what a giving, selfless person he is, the thought never crossed my mind. Backing out of a situation that could save someone’s life wouldn’t be an option for Brandon.

The morning of the surgery I was in Pre-Op with Brandon when Angie and her husband came back to spend a few minutes with him. I’ll always remember her husband telling Brandon how sorry he was for all he was going to endure for his wife. Their hearts were full of gratitude and appreciation for the gift of life Brandon was giving Angie.

Angie’s family cried tears of relief and rejoiced with me when Brandon’s surgery was over and the surgeon gave us a good report. With the relief also came nervous anticipation waiting for Angie’s surgery to be over. When the surgeon came out and gave us a good report on Angie, there were hugs and tears of relief, happiness and rejoicing. Both were out of surgery, the two surgeries were successful and all had gone well.

I went back to recovery to see Brandon and his first question was, “How’s Angie?” Angie’s first question in recovery was “How’s Brandon.” Their concern was not for themselves, but for each other. Within hours Angie was already feeling the benefits of having a healthy kidney functioning in her body, ridding it of toxins.

Neither Brandon nor Angie had any complications from the surgery. He was out of work until the beginning of January and she was able to return to work the end of January. Shortly after, Brandon called to give us incredible news. Where most new kidney transplants function between 40 and 60 percent, Angie’s was functioning at 83 percent, which was remarkable!

Two years later both Brandon and Angie are doing well, celebrating their anniversary by having a family dinner. Brandon is very close to Angie’s family and they think of him as one of their own. I guess it’s only fitting since she will always carry a part of him wherever she goes.

Brandon was home recently and we had some special time to just sit and talk. We talked about the transplant and about Angie. He said that one of the reasons he felt so strongly about donating a kidney to her was that she is the most giving person he had ever met. And, he just couldn’t imagine a “world without Angie.”

Happy Anniversary guys! Here’s to many more!

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