Finally...Pt 1: The Call
I had been working from home for the last few weeks. On Saturday April 11th, I enjoyed a big home-cooked lunch then sat back down in my office/living room to work. I, a rule breaker, had my phone on my desk. I had three missed calls: one at 2:46, 2:48, and 3:06pm. Ok, this might be important. At 3:09 I put myself into personal status and called back. "Transplant Department...this is Leah"
I explained that I was returning a phone call. Leah very calmly explained to me "We have a kidney that is great match for you. Are you still interested?"
"Ummm...yes?" Is she telling me I'm getting a kidney? Her tone made me a little unsure. I guess I was expecting more of a Publisher's Clearing House type call. Then she asked if I could get to the hospital right away. This was real. This was happening. I reminded her that I lived in Tampa, and that the drive could take three hours. She said that was fine, and we hung up. I sat there stunned for a second. Then I smiled, and then I laughed.
My first call was to my parents. I gave them the news and explained that the hospital is only allowing one caregiver to enter due to Covid-19. I stood in my room staring at nothing. Reality hit. I'm about to have a major surgery. What do I do with my dog? What do I bring? (Y'all I've had a bag packed for this day for almost two years!) We're in the middle of a global pandemic. What is the hospital going to be like? Now I was nervous. I grabbed my bag and called some friends to help with the pup. Then I got in my non-air-conditioned car and drove three long, hot hours to Jacksonville. I called a few friends on the way.
My parents and I arrived in the same parking lot at the same time-around 7pm. The hospital was very cautious and quick. We got to my room within five minutes. They began doing a few final test including a covid-19 test. My mother had to do one too because she was my designated caregiver. The test results took a whole day.
On Easter Sunday, I got on a prayer call with some of my closest friends. Right after that I had a kidney transplant.