Krishna and I woke up early on Tuesday, August 9th ready to go to see her dialysis nurse at nine in the morning. We had just gotten into the car when the call came. There was a kidney for Krishna in Iowa. We were in shock. We had somewhat of a plan, but the plan went out the window, we were momentarily in a state of shock and panic. The transplant team at Iowa asked the critical question, could we get there?
We said YES! without hesitation; however, we were not quite clear as to how we were going to get to Iowa. There was no time to panic, well... maybe a little. There was so much to do, we had to pack, get the girls out of school, call and let everyone know we were headed out, etc. I was running around the house in a frenzy. I was scrambling but not really getting much done. We were ready to go, but we still did not have a way to get there. We had little time to act. We did not want the kidney to be wasted if we could not get there in time. Krishna then made the phone call that put the miracle into action.
Krishna called her dear friend and former teacher, Mr. Hearne, who told us a few weeks ago, he would make a few phone calls and would take care of the flight. He learned we were fundraising and assured her he would take care of it. We all thought we had much more time, even though the Iowa transplant team has such a track record for extremely short wait times. Krishna had a few planning discussions with Mr. Hearne previously, but planning goes out the window when "The Call" comes.
Mr. Hearne has a few friends who are pilots in our small town. He made a call to his friend Rollie Millspaugh, who would have gladly flown us to Iowa except for he was out of the state on business. Rollie suggested that his friend, Ron Huddleston, use his plane and fly us. Ron agreed to do so, but saw the weather conditions were bad and the smaller plane would not get Krishna there in time. Mr. Millspaugh then made the call to Richard Apsley, the owner of Decatur Mold in our hometown. Mr. Apsley instructed his corporate aircraft, which is pictured above, be used to get us to Iowa. His pilot, Jim Barrow, immediately made the drive from Kentucky to Indiana to pilot the plane along with Ron Huddleston.
I still have tears in my eyes as I type this. Our little town has a huge heart! I am not exaggerating or being overly dramatic when I say, we witnessed a miracle that day! There are not words enough to thank all of the men mentioned above for their contribution in restoring my wife to good health. Mr. Hearne did indeed deliver on his promise to take care of the flight. When your dream is big and God is involved, the facts don't count!
We flew very comfortably to Iowa and there was a cab waiting on us when the plane rolled into the hangar. The pilots called for a cab and had it waiting. We stepped off the plane, right into the cab, and were whisked away to the hospital. Our girls had never been on a plane, they were in awe of their first plane ride. Krishna and I joked with them and told them not to get used to this kind of treatment. Amazing is all I can say.
Krishna checked in and was preparing for the next steps. I could not help myself, I told everyone at the hospital about the plane ride and the miracle that had just happened. The hospital staff was genuinely touched by the story. It is not every day that a beautiful plane is donated!
The nurses were rushing around the room drawing blood for cross match testing. This test takes about three hours normally, but in our case, it took over 5. There is always a slight chance that the cross match can come back positive and the transplant is halted. I prayed like there was no tomorrow. Surely, we would not have received this miracle call and even more miraculous flight, only to be sent home without a transplant. The longer we waited, the more worried I was becoming. I kept telling myself, this surgery is going to happen! Surgery was supposed to start at 7. It was almost 10 in the evening when we received the news that the transplant was happening! Krishna was off to surgery, our girls could not hold out any longer, they were fast asleep on the couch.
The surgery went well. Krishna has a new kidney. It is at this point that we want to fully acknowledge the loss another family is enduring as a result of Krishna receiving her transplant. We are eternally grateful for the donor, and hope one day, we can properly thank the family. God Bless Organ Donors! I was not an organ donor until my wife needed a kidney. I have been an organ donor for about 15 years now!
Wow, we have covered quite a bit. Wait.... There's More! The outpouring of support has not stopped since we have settled here in Iowa. We have received several calls, texts, cards, and donations. Our friends, family, church family, and our community have rallied around the miracle flight and the transplant. We give God all of the glory! He has called many to come to our rescue and we are truly thankful and humbled by the outpouring of support we have received. Again, we cannot say thanks enough!
Now, the home stretch. Please pay close attention to this part of the post. This may be the most important part of the story:
The flight, donations, fundraising support, etc. are all unique to our family. The reality of you or someone you love, receiving a kidney in much shorter time is not. There is so much incorrect information about how the "Transplant List" works. I had a long discussion with Krishna's surgeon and he encouraged us to continue to guide folks to the correct information. The absolute best tool to research waiting list times is the website I found on that late night I decided to take an active role in my wife's transplant is www.txmultilising.com. This website condenses all of the data on transplants into one easy to use site. PLEASE! share this site with your loved ones!
Krishna and I know that we received a miracle! We pray that we can be a resource to others who are searching for their transplant. We have vowed to roll up our sleeves and make a difference. We have witnessed three transplants, (One for our daughter, and two for Krishna). We have gained so much knowledge on so many topics from listing to fundraising and we want to share it.
That is all for now. I will post more in the coming days. We have many more days here in Iowa. I hope this story is inspiring to others. With tears in my eyes as I watch my beautiful wife peacefully sleeping, I thank God for the miracle of life and the beautiful display of humanity our community has shown throughout this journey! THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!