Eleven Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifteen so far

July 4, 1987 – A young father, a young husband, and at 29 years old he was looking ahead to more time in Vancouver General Hospital.  Not something he relished.

The phone rang after he arrived home from work, – 5 P.M..  The message was “Don’t Eat anything, Have a shower and come to the hospital as soon as possible. Surgery tonight.”

His feelings were mixed, excitement along with trepidation. The year before the call from the hospital in April had lead to months of disappointment and pain. Inside himself he wondered if he had the strength to try again. He wanted to try, the potential gain meant he had to.

6  P.M. – As they drove together to the hospital,  his wonderful daughter stayed with her grandparents and his wife stayed positive while he shared his wishes, just in case, something happened and she was widowed. They were calm and realistic.

8:45 P.M. – Now he sat on his bed, the thick concrete walls of the old building, the green trees outside. A few minutes alone to stay positive and remember why he was there, sitting in a hospital gown, plain white cloth.

He had kidney disease, surviving on dialysis had had its moments and the restrictions on diet and time were hard on him and his family.  Tonight after midnight, things might change for the better.

Work hardly entered his mind, someone would send them a message, his job would wait.  He tried to slow his mind, be calm, just breathe.

*********

12: 20 A.M. – The halls were silent, as he lay on the gurney, trundled down hallways, and up elevators and eventually he arrived in a hallway outside surgery.

He was outside surgery, laying on the gurney, waiting. He could see people milling around in gowns through the doors. Quickly they moved, precisely.

The surgeon stood beside him, they chatted briefly and he confirmed he was ready, his name and why he was there.  Just before they entered the surgery, he asked that they pray together, and the surgeon was happy to take the moment to do so.

12:35 A.M – Nervous, hopeful,  the last thing he remembered was being wheeled through the doors,  and then the anesthetist asking him to count backwards from 100. His vision faded as he counted down about five numbers, and then just darkness, silence.

**********

6:35 A.M. – he opened his eyes to a nurse asking him his name, and then he fell asleep. He could see two poles and tubes running from the poles to him. He was too tired to think what it meant.

 

 

That was Eleven Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifteen days ago (31  years) ago.  I woke up and the surgery worked. I had received the gift of life, the gift of organ donation from someone and now I would live. I had a working kidney.

During the days ahead, I would celebrate the birth of a son, I would walk my daughter on her wedding day, I would look forward to  holidays, and celebrations. I would work, and make memories.

Organ donation – register please, next it could be someone who means everything to you.

Eleven Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifteen days ago I got the call, and another chance.  My donor I never knew, but I think of that person every day. Someone lost their life but their kidney lived on in me.

 

Thank you to my donor and to your family for your gift that day.  It has meant everything. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About dfolstad58

I live in the South Okanagan. BC. I enjoy reading, exercise, toastmasters. spending time with my son, my daughter, & her husband , and my patient wife. I try to respond personally to every comment on my blog, and in this way I hope to get to know my readers a little bit and say thank you for their encouragement and suggestions.
This entry was posted in health, Thinking Out loud and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Eleven Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifteen so far

  1. Wow! This is amazing and so inspiring. I hope all hear your message and register. Congratulations to you for living your best life these years since surgery and how nice to see these pictures. Your wife and daughter are gorgeous!

    Like

  2. Bob Smith says:

    Great memory Dave, I’m a piker next to you at less than 9 years, your my inspiration.
    Stay safe
    Bob

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m very glad for your good fortune. Modern medicine can be amazing.

    Neil S.

    Like

  4. If I weren’t already an organ donor, this would have convinced me to register

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have been taking pretty decent care of myself for years, so I hope if the worst ever happens, I will have a working kidney, albeit old, that someone might be able to use to sustain their own life. Glad you got yours Dave. Life is good!

    Like

  6. Susan Folstad says:

    Beautiful post and I remember it all so well. Burned into our memories always. Those were life and death days in early transplant times some 31 years ago. I am so thankful that a person donated their kidney so we could make all these beautiful moments together as a family. So much has changed since then in the transplant world. Our family is more thankful than ever that Dave received that transplant and we understood and still understand what a sacrificial gift it was and continues to be. May the family of the person who donated their kidney continue to find comfort in knowing that it brought my sweet husband life. For that we are thankful and grateful every single day.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Julie Crittenden says:

    Aww Dave this is a great post and we are so grateful to the person whose kidney you have. Looking forward to making more memories and seeing you very soon xcxxx loads of love xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

  8. you like all my feathered friends are a survivor! Soar high & far Dave!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Marlene Z says:

    Praying that you can have another 11,315 PLUS……..sending love & hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jackie and Ajai Sehgal says:

    I hope the world will evolve to having in vitro grown, scaffold self-celled organs with the advent of
    3-D printing; till then I wish there could be a way to take every deceased person organ and pass it on(fast pass!)….and that sharing an organ, and life with one kidney, was understood to be as safe as giving blood…the more I talk to people, I hear of so many who lived full lives with a single kidney. Having one kidney or a kidney transplant no longer defines a person, we all live in health, because of machine, surgeons and human gifts….
    Wishing you continued blessings David every day; you are certainly in our hearts.
    J and A

    Liked by 1 person

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