Thursday, March 24, 2011

Some Love & A Miracle

Today is a very special day for me.  Today marks the 1 year anniversary of my wife's (Deidra) kidney transplant.  This is not her first transplant (she received one from her mother in 1994), but rather her second and this time things seem to be even better than the first, but let me take you back.

In January 2009, unbeknown to my wife and I, she had already began to go into kidney failure.  It was not until later in the year that we found out this was the case. At first we thought she had just gotten sick from a virus, but this was only one problem. The virus caused us to place focus on the kidney and through a couple of biopsies, it was found that she was suffering from toxicity from one of her immunosuppressants.  In laymen terms, that meant that the very medicine that was suppose to stop her immune system from attacking her kidney was the one killing the kidney!  To me this is the equivalent of taking Advil for a minor headache and the medicine turns out to give you a migraine.  It was unimaginable to me that the medicine that suppose to keep her alive could kill her.  I just could not get that wrapped around my brain, but I had to learn that transplanted organs do not last forever. 

If you have never seen a person go through kidney failure, I would like to tell you, you do not want to see it.  it is not a pretty sight.  Once you hit a certain threshold of functionality, the kidney starts to shut down pretty fast.  I mean I saw the woman I love - the mother of my two children - grow sicker and sicker before my eyes every day.  As a man, you try to remain strong, but it's difficult to see a love one suffer and there is nothing you can do.  It is out of your control and only in the hands of God.  There is nothing you can do but pray, because kidneys do not grown on trees.  You canot go down to your local Wal-mart and buy one.  There are waiting lists and some are on them for 3 to 7 years!  Yes, I said years! So imagine, our situation.  You know that God can work all things out but when you are in the midst of a trial, it's tough to keep focus, but praying we did.

Love & A Miracle

Remember I said, you cannot go go your local department store and pick a kidney?  Well we were in need of one fast and in steps a little sister.  It's my wife's younger sister, Dionne.  Without hesitation, she stepped up to the plate and offered to donate her kidney.  Now, a lot goes into the process of giving a kidney.  You don't just say I will give mines and you go into surgery.  There are numerous tests done.  There is blood work done.  There are tests to see if you are the correct blood type (which there is a way around now due to technology).  There are urology tests.  So, it is no light task and there are always risks involved.  Any time you talk about cutting the body open to remove organs, there are inherent risks.  

Knowing all of these things, it was as though Dionne was bringing over a pie or cake.  No hesitation.  No grumbling. No complaining.  She willing went to the operating table for her sister.  As it turned out, the two were a perfect match (ie, bood type, markers, etc.)!  It couldn't have been any perfect!  I think they were so perfect the doctors were even a little amazed.  The good thing about a perfect match is that it reduces the number of medicines you have to take after the transplant, so Amen to that!

So, on March 24, 2010, Dionne went to bat for her sister and donated a kidney.  She had to lose a piece of one of her lower ribs in the process, but she did it.  A few hours later, the two were out of surgery and into recovery.  Dionne's recovery was fairly quick, but Deidra's was a little slower, however, you could see the instant impact of a new kidney.  My wife's face was beginning to clear from all the toxins in her body. Her skin was clearing.  It was as though some one had dropped some magic water on a withering rose and watching it brighten back up to a fully red open flower. That is the only way I could best describe it.

Today, both of the girls (sisters) are in perfect health. You would not even know that something had happened and that is how amazing God is.  Deidra is now a Certified Christian Life Coach with a focus on medical compliance.  In fact, it was just yesterday that she completed her certification in Human Behavior as a consultant (For more information you can visit her website at  All of this has happened within a years time!

One year ago today, I was feeling like a beat man.  I was worrying myself to death trying to figure out how to raise two children while unemployed and trying to be a caretaker for my wife.  Not so.  My wife could still be sick all while deteriorating in health.  Not so.  We could still be waiting for a kidney for years to come.  No so!  You see, the unselfish love of one sister gave life to another sister and I do have my mother-in law to thank for giving Deidra life so I could find my wife.  However, I have to give my sister-in law thanks for extending my family's life and for that I say thank you Dionne and love you.  I know you did not do it for me, but the by-product of your love yield a miracle for all of us!


Antoine E. Hall


"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." - James 1:22

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