The day had arrived though I did not sleep much the night before I woke up ready to get the day going. I grabbed a shower and used the special soap they had given me to prepare for surgery and then got ready. My wife, parents and my donor and her family all got to the hospital about the same time, we parked at the top of the garage. Before we did our group stopped and said a prayer that all would go smoothly and then we walked in. I got checked in into the in-patient surgery and waited. About a hour or so the team called my donor to the surgery room. As she got up to go to the room, she said I know that this is going to work, see you in a little bit.
Within about 45 minutes I got called as well and my wife and I went back to the prep room. Once there I got in my gown and got on the bed. The thing I was most scared of was the first needle stick, after that I knew it would be ok. Docs and nurses came in and out the room finishing up the last bit of prep work. My wife told me later she ran into one of the doctors and he said that he was glad this was happening but that he hoped that I took my medication otherwise there would be a negative impact. My wife replied I think he learned that lesson he said he had 4 years of dialysis was enough.
Once the needle was in they started to give me the meds and took me back to surgery. My last memorys of that was seeing the bright lights and talking to one of the surgons and then I went to sleep.
Once the surgery was done, I was moved to recovery and I woke up and saw a nurse putting saline on a pole. How’s the kidney I asked? The nurse looked down and said as soon as it was hooked up it turned pink and started working immediately. I said thanks and went back to sleep. When I woke up next, I was in ICU with my mom and wife and my donor’s husband. we talked for a few minutes before I went back to sleep, I don’t remember a lot that happened that night, but I knew that things were going to be ok.
Yes I had finally graduated from dialysis and in that qiute hosptiel room excecpt for the beeping of the saline pumps. In my mind I could hear the song “Pomp and circumstance.” being played and as I walked towards the stage and Life was standing there with a diploma and this is what it said. This is to Certify that Anthony E Reed has graduated from dialysis to transplant with high honors signed Life. As I stepped to the stage to receive my diploma, I sat in that hospital bed with tears streaming down my face as I know what it took to get to where I was. I could see the scars and feel the pain of success. The Kidney Trails is not an easy road to travel in fact it was one of the most difficult journeys in my life up to that point. Though I just imagined getting that diploma I can still see it to this day. It hangs on the wall of my mental storehouse and every time I go there, I am reminded of what it took and what it takes to be successful.
Though my journey was far from over this part was done and as I sat and rested on the mountain, I could see every step that I took and there were always another set of footprints beside me. Except through the most difficult places then there was only one just as it said in the poem ‘ Footprints in the sand.”
I don’t know what you are facing in life this very moment. But I want to encourage you when it seems like you can’t go on keep pushing. When it seems, there is no hope Rember where hope can be found. When it seems that there is no end, remember to everything there is a season. Whatever you are facing know this you are one step closer to that mountain top and trust me the view is so worth it.