Family Meeting

Well, we’re one step closer to getting Laura on the transplant list. On Thursday we had the family meeting with the social worker,  Maggie, which was one of the requirements for getting on the transplant list.

We got there at 8:30am and rode the elevator to the 7th floor. We waiting in the lobby for about 10-15 minutes before Maggie arrived and took us into a conference room. There we sat, everyone wishing this was just a dream and that Laura wasn’t really sick. No one imagined that we’d be put in this position, needing to talk about kidney transplants and who would be willing to do what. In attendance were Laura, myself, Laura’s mom (Marisela), all three of Laura’s younger siblings (Jr., David, and Esmeralda), and our two youngest kids (Jayden and Gabriel).

Maggie told everyone that this was not going to be easy on anyone. She said:

  • Laura will not be able to drive for the first five weeks after the transplant.
  • Laura will have two appointments a week (each lasting about two hours) for the first two months and will need someone to drive her.
  • Laura will be on VERY HIGH dosages of anti-rejection medication, which will lower her immune system to almost nothing.
  • To reduce the risk of infection, since children carry lots of germs, Laura will need to have very limited contact with our kids for the first two months and the house will need to be deep cleaned and spotless.
  • Laura will not be able to carry more than 10 pounds or do much of anything for the first two months.
  • Laura will need someone to care for her exclusively and our boys will need their own care taker.

Maggie said that for all of these reasons, Laura’s support group needs to be made up of people who could be reliable and asked everyone there if they would be willing and able take time off work to do this. Everyone of course said yes. “I’m going to open it up for questions now,” said Maggie.

Some background information: About two weeks ago, we were told that Laura’s little sister, Esmeralda, would probably not be a good candidate for kidney donation because she’s only 23 and hasn’t started a family yet. They told us that it would automatically be considered a high risk pregnancy if she were to get pregnant and only had one kidney. We had relayed this information to Esmeralda and she seemed a little sad about that.

Fast forward back to the meeting… Esmeralda said she had a question. Then came the tears. She said she’d be willing to donate a kidney even if that meant she wouldn’t have any children of her own. You could tell this was not something she said impulsively. She had given it lots of thought before those words came out of her mouth. No need for Visine today, there was not a dry eye in that conference room. Even Maggie was struggling to keep it together.

Junior, David, and Esmeralda all turned in their donor evaluation cards that morning. Unfortunately, they don’t want to start doing any testing to see if any of them are compatible until we have the money in the fundraising account.

So now that we got to cross off the family meeting from the list, I think it’s time to start focusing on the fundraiser. This is going to be very hard for me because I’m not used to asking people for help.

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