Early one Friday morning, Kelly and I were caring for our daughter at the hospital after she had a minor procedure. When babies come out of anesthesia sometimes they will scream and cry and inconsolably. Armed with that knowledge we were not prepared for what was to come. As soon as they brought us back to the recovery area we could hear our babies cries. Screaming actually.
She squirmed and squealed for 30 minutes. I was trying to hold Hazel down as best I could, and I look over at Kelly and he is on his phone, listening to a voice message. I could tell by the look on his face that it was important. He listened to it, and got off his phone and didn't say anything for a bit. Then he looked at me and said, "That was her, Chris and I are a match". We both were holding back tears. For that moment it all seemed silent. We couldn't hear the crying baby, or the nurses asking us questions anymore. We both just looked at each other and knew our lives were going to be changing. And so was Chris'.
Last Tuesday Kelly left the house with a full bladder to leave a urine sample at the lab. This time they are testing for protein in his urine. Chris explained to us that if there is protein in your urine that means that your kidneys aren't doing their function properly. With each step, Kelly takes it very seriously. He wants to be sure there was nothing that he could be inadvertently doing to bring negative test results. He has stopped drinking energy drinks, stopped eating sugar (well, making much improvement) and eating better all together.
Kelly didn't know what to expect when he started down this path. The first step seemed simple. Call the number on the poster Chris was holding up in his Facebook profile picture. If you asked Kelly, I don't think that was a very easy step. It was not a simple phone call to make. Picking up the phone was that first step in the commitment to help save Chris' life. He knew that if he started down this road he had to be sure he was willing to go all the way, he knew he couldn't get Chris' hope up just to change his mind.
The first test Kelly had to pass was going through his medical history as well as his families medical history. He then had to provide proof that he was the correct blood, so Kelly scooted down to the local lab and gave a small amount of blood. They verified, Type O+. That meant he was onto round two. Four days of blood pressure tests. Simple so far. The next step was where the rubber meets the road. They needed a few more vials of blood to verify the antibodies were compatible in both Kelly and Chris' blood. We knew this was a huge one. This is where they test to see if Chris' body will fight off the kidney that Kelly wants to give him. After each test, we all anxiously await the call to let us know the test results, but the antibody test had us all very nervous. We were told it would take a couple weeks to get the results.
Many people have asked us, "What if one of your kids needs a kidney, or another family member needs one?". We never even considered this to be an issue. We both have gained such a strong faith that we know that whatever happens in the future, God will provide exactly what we need. It may not be what we want but it will be exactly what we need. With our faith, it makes going through this process much easier. That doesn't mean that I don't have moments of fear or those times where one the "what if's" start running through our minds.
So, what next? Kelly is headed to Georgia for two days of testing. He will have CT scans, and Ultrasounds and I'm sure there will be more bloodwork. It' all becoming very real. The plane ticket is bought and the time is requested off work. I will stay here in Colorado and take care of our girls and Kelly will go through one round after another of medical tests for two full days.
Although there are fears and challenges for our family, these are all small sacrifices for our family in order to give this gift to Chris. We can't help but feel like we are gaining a few more members to our extended family. Chris and his wife will always be connected to us and we are so grateful to have them in our lives. May God continue to bless the road these two are traveling on.