My name is Sarah, and this is the account of my Dad, John, and his donor, Bruce on their journey through kidney donation.
We have known for a while that my Dad has had kidney disease. In 2003, he was supposed to deploy to Iraq since he was in the Navy. It was one of the saddest days of our lives. At that time, his fourth had just been born. He flew to Gulfport, Mississippi from where we were living at the time, Long Island, New York. I remember those days being even sadder than when he was saying goodbye. One day, we get a phone call that he was coming home because they would not let him go overseas. At that point, we kids were so happy just to have him coming home. What we didn't realize is that the reason the Navy would not let him go was because his kidneys were functioning at only 25% - something that wouldn't strike us as horrible until a couple years later.
Since then, we have moved to Louisiana, and he was working on the Navy base in Gulfport - the same one he went to when he was supposed to deploy. We moved here right after Hurricane Katrina knowing that God had a plan for us. Boy, was He right, and it was so much more then we could've ever dreamed!
For about a year now, we've known how serious this disease actually is. Since protein and phosphorus kill bad kidneys, he went on a low diet of those things which means he ate no meat. He was then put on the kidney transplant list.
His sister decided she would get tested to see if she could donate to him, but that wasn't God's plan. Still, she decided, that she'd be there for him when he finally got it done.
Thats when Mr. Bruce came into the picture. You see, Mr. Bruce was working at the same place as my Dad when they were in the Navy. They only knew each other for a short time when Mr. Bruce heard that my Dad needed a kidney donation. They started talking, and they found out that they were the same blood type! Mr. Bruce wanted to help my Dad. He started going through all the tests. When a nurse asked him why he wanted to help when he had only known my dad for a short while, he replied, "My brother needs a kidney. I have two." When he said 'brother', he meant 'brother-in-the-Lord'. The nurse was speechless!
Both my Dad and Mr. Bruce are retired Navy now. My dad retired through medical retirement due to his kidneys.
The journey has been long and hard, but it has just begun. Mr. Bruce is a perfect match, and the surgery is scheduled for February 3rd in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We are so blessed to know Mr. Bruce, and his wife Mrs. Kathy. They are such a blessing to us especially because they know the Lord Jesus.