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Stories of hope

Katie, my hero

Kenneth, transplant recipient

I’m going to share the different sides of a Transplant. Katie was 15 years old when she passed away.
Words from Katie’s mom describing her daughter:

She was beautiful inside an out, smart, funny, sensitive, amazing with kids and animals, generous and always stood up for those who were bullied. Someone said about her once (when she was still alive) that if you love Katie, she loved you a thousand times more, and that was the essence of her personality.

Katie, my hero

By Kenneth Scott Crawford

I worked as business development consultant for a large cruise line back in the late 2010s. I had proven my abilities time and time again for the last five years. I received my promotion to the largest territory in the United states when our national sales meeting in the Seattle Hilton hotel; that is where I got an emergency call to head to the hospital immediately. I found out I had End Stage Renal Failure (ESRD), commonly called kidney failure.

This dastardly news started my dialysis days. These days were the darkest of my life. My family always compared me to looking like a holocaust survivor and looking back at my bus pass from those days I must agree with that statement. I had not the strength some days to walk to another room. Most days seemed to linger for forty-eight hours.
Not all was gloom and doom, however. I volunteered at the local library once or twice a week to break up the monotony of days, but I also wanted to feel somewhat useful. The hardest part about disability is accepting the fact that you are disabled. While doing my service for the community, I got word of a possible kidney and pancreas on its way to Seattle and I was third on the list for them. I hunkered at home waiting for the call, never really believing it would come due to two folks on the list before me. Against expectations, I was told to head to the hospital.

The road to the hospital was the most emotionally gut-retching time of my life. I was happy that I could possibly stop doing dialysis. I broke into tears in sadness over my donor’s lost life. Elation turned to despair in a matter of nanoseconds. A smile dissolved into a tear.

After month of pain, rehab, and boredom I could go home from the hospital. I had let the hospital know that I wanted to praise and send my condolences to the donor family. I discovered that my donor, Katie, enjoyed life in many ways I did. We enjoyed sports and science-fiction alike. I also discovered I have another mother and a sister in California. I daydream of our first meeting! Joy and loss will be shared.

As I prepare to teach physics in the next couple years, I remember the angel who allowed me to get this far past ESRD. She gave me a second life so I must honor her in giving back to society. Katie is a part of me now physically, mentally, and emotionally. Her organs live on inside me. I think of Katie, Miki, and Marie daily, always with a smile. I have life because they chose to give.

Thank you.

Hand-drawn heart
Donor tribute, Kidney, Stories
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