Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Transplant Day!

Monday, April 20 - the day all of us as family, and especially Crystal and Amy, had been waiting for! It was a day greatly anticipated, and also a day that we approached with apprehension. It would bring the much needed kidney transplant for Crystal, but it would also bring surgery, pain, and recovery for both Crystal and Amy. But we all knew that we would not be alone - we had the promises and presence of God to carry us through all that lay ahead.

Crystal was admitted into the hospital on Saturday morning, April 18 ... and the next day (Sunday, April 19) Gary and I, together with Amy, checked into the nearby Residence Inn so that we would be close to Medical City Hospital for Amy's early entrance to the hospital the following morning. It worked out perfectly, and we made the 5-minute drive to the hospital very early (5:30 am) on Monday morning, April 20, with no problems at all. 

Amy reported to Day Surgery on 2nd floor to be prepped for surgery, and then was taken to the Holding area at about 6:35 am. We were able to be with her until about 7:30 am when she was taken for surgery. Amy was so brave and sweet through every step of the day, as she has been from the beginning of her decision to donate one of her kidneys to Crystal. It was such a priceless blessing for us as parents to be by her side. 

Crystal had already been admitted to the hospital on Saturday morning, two days before the surgery. She, as well, was brave and courageous even as she faced surgery, held up by God's peace and strength through her two-year journey of kidney failure. Her surgery was scheduled for 8 am, but was actually delayed until about 9:20 am because of a mixup in scheduling of the anesthesiologist. And we think that Amy's actual surgery was probably delayed a bit, as well, to keep the timing of the two surgeries just right for transplant.

It was quite a morning for us as family who were waiting while the surgeries were going on. Two precious family members in surgery at the same time ... a sweet daughter in one surgery room, and a sweet granddaughter in another. On the same floor, with surgery rooms near to each other. So much emotion with our hearts and prayers focused on two different loved ones going through kidney surgery at the same time. Amy's left kidney would be removed to donate to Crystal, and then taken on ice directly to Crystal's surgery room. Crystal's right diseased kidney would be removed, and she would be ready to receive Amy's kidney into her lower right abdominal area at just the right point.

We received texts on the progress of each surgery, and also kept watch on the screen in the waiting room showing what stage of surgery they were each in. The method of showing which stage of surgery was with a symbol - so we saw either the symbol of a knife, some stitches, or a bandaid. (We heard later that they are planning to change the use of the knife symbol to something else - and we thought that would be a good idea!) We all waited in the same waiting room for the first part of surgery, but then we needed to move to separate waiting rooms in order to keep receiving notices of the progress. Mark & Cristy & Abigail needed to be in the pediatric surgery waiting room, and Gary and I in the adult surgery waiting room. These two waiting rooms were just down the hall from each other, so we could still keep in contact with each other as family without a lot of difficulty.

Amy's surgery was started at about 8:30 am, and Crystal's at about 9:20 am. We received a text message at about 10:45 am that Amy's kidney was about to be transplanted into Crystal! We were amazed that things could be moving that quickly, that the transplant was actually taking place! So amazing and so incredible - and so emotional for us as we waited together as family! We were filled with thanks to God for His provision of a healthy kidney for Crystal Mae.

Shortly after, there was a bit of confusion for those of us in the waiting room as we were watching the progress on the waiting room screen ... as it looked like Amy was back in surgery after having been in the recovery room for a bit. And as we heard later from the doctor, that is exactly what happened! Dr. Aronoff remembered that there was one more procedure he likes to do for thinner, petite patients, and so Amy needed to receive a bit more anesthesia, and be taken back into the surgery room for some more stitching on an inner layer of muscle. We are so thankful that doctor made the effort to take care of this step.

Because of that bit of delay for Amy, Crystal was done with surgery and was moved out of surgery ahead of Amy. After their surgeries, Crystal was moved directly into  pediatric ICU at about 12:30 noon, and Amy was moved from the recovery room to her room on 8th floor at about 2 pm.

How we thank God for the good reports from the doctors - both surgeries went very well, and Crystal's new kidney from Amy began working well right from the start!!! How amazing!! You can read much more on Crystal's CaringBridge site, where Cristy so beautifully shares interesting detail about transplant day.

As time allows, I'll continue on with more posts about the days following the actual transplant day. This has been such an anticipated event for our granddaughter (and for all of us as family), and recording this journey is one way for us as grandparents to preserve our memories, emotions, and details of all that happened during transplant. We are filled with thanks to God, and also filled with thanks for all of our friends and family who are praying for our family throughout this transplant journey. Thank you so much - we are blessed by you, and are so very thankful for God's provision, love, and care! So much emotion as we anticipated transplant day, and so much emotion as we continue on. 

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