August 06, 2005


I tend to avoid talking about me, my family, or my life on this blog, mostly because my life isn't interesting enough to command anyone's attention for long. With perhaps one exception.

Ten years ago my youngest cousin became very ill and his kidneys failed. At the time, it was believed that he had become severely dehydrated due to food poisoning and that was what caused his kidneys to fail. He had been on dialysis since but several years ago got serious about seeking a kidney donor, though he was adamant about not having a family member or any of his friends offer one of their kidneys. Given my history of gout, it was unlikely that I was going to be a good candidate, but it is something that has been preying on my mind for a long time.

As it happened, the daughter of someone he works with happened to start talking with him one day and asked him about the thing in his arm, a device which was surgically implanted to aid with his dialysis. He told her about it and why it was there and she immediately wanted to donate one of her kidneys to him. After tests were run, it was found that she was a perfect match to be a donor. Freakin' unbelievable on so many levels.

As it happens, she was a senior in college and the timing was such that there was a narrow window when the surgery could take place without interfering with her plans to graduate. Unfortunately, the hospital could not accomodate her schedule. That was, until a couple of phone calls were made by someone close to her who just happened to have worked for a famous surgeon from Tennessee, who now has a somewhat more high profile position in Washington these days. Before long, schedules were adjusted and she donated a kidney to my cousin two weeks ago.

At first, all went well. My cousin was up and around in a couple of days and the donor was up and about a few days after with nothing more than the usual post-operative pain. About one week later, my cousin started to develop problems with the donated kidney. After a battery of tests it was discovered that my cousin has a rare blood disease which was destroying his new kidney, as well as, in retrospect, probably being responsible for the failure of his kidneys ten years ago.

In the last week my cousin has undergone massive transfusions and is now on a radical drug regimen to try and counteract the problems he is experiencing with the new kidney in an effort to save it. If you are so inclined, pray for my cousin. He and his kidney donor have gone through too much to have it all go for naught now.

Like I said, perspective.

Posted by Charles Austin at August 6, 2005 11:20 PM

Absolutely. Prayers for him, for your family, and for her.

Posted by: Suzi at 11:50 PM

Will do, Charles.

Posted by: Lawrence at 07:09 AM


Romans 8:28

Posted by: Jon at 02:50 PM