You know how some people would “do anything for you”?
My sister Susan is making that phrase real. She is donating her kidney to a woman who attends her church.
That’s right — one Sunday during Announcements, it was reported that Buddi, a refugee from Nepal whom the church was assisting, needed a kidney. Without a transplant, she would not be able to have her young daughter join her in this country.
Susan thought — Wow, I could help Buddi AND her daughter, and what could be cooler than that? So she had the test done and the match was made.
Susan told me her plans a few days after we had the memorial service for our Dad. We were sitting together in church — she attends the same one as my parents — and she elbowed me and said, “Look at that woman in the communion circle, wearing that purple outfit — I’ll tell you something about her later. Her name is Buddi.”
What she told me was rather shocking, and to be honest, I wasn’t ready to hear it, not right after we buried our father. I didn’t want to worry about her, too.
Besides losing our father, I had just launched a memoir. My emotions were already running high.
A few weeks later I was in Michigan’s upper peninsula, walking along the shore of Lake Superior, when it struck me that the rocks were as smooth as I imagine an organ to be. I searched for two rocks that seemed the right size to be a kidney. I left one with my mother, and brought the other one home to keep on my desk. I hold it as I pray for my sister. Sometimes when you don’t know what words to use, it’s good to hold something the Creator made, and be silent.
The surgery is scheduled for Monday, September 12, at 7:30 a.m. at Mercy Health St. Mary’s in Grand Rapids, MI.
Please join me in lifting up prayers for a successful outcome for both donor and recipient! Pray as you will. My prayer will go something like this . . . .
Gracious God, watch over Susan and Buddi during their kidney transplant. Be with the surgeons, that they may be skillful and precise and effective in their work. Be with the nurses and all medical personnel, that Buddi and Susan may be surrounded by competence and care. Alleviate their pain. Grant them safety under anesthesia, and successful surgeries. May they each make a full recovery. May Susan’s left kidney begin the work of filtering Buddi’s blood, to restore her body to well being. May Susan’s right kidney take up the work of its sister organ, and be adequate to its task. Please Lord, grant successful surgery for both of them, and full recovery for both of them. Be with the loved ones who wait for news, especially Susan’s husband, and our dear mother. We pray this knowing that you are the Great Healer. We commit Susan and Buddi to you. Amen.
EDITED TO ADD a followup picture a year later: