Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Today's Update

Mark's visit with the Transplant Follow Up Team went well today. His creatinine was 1.3. It has been fluctuating a bit...was 1.0, 1.2, 1.1, and now 1.3. All of the numbers are within normal limits. The Team says this fluctuation is common. Mark is scheduled to have the stent that was placed in the ureter of the new transplanted kidney removed on Monday. He will have a final visit with the Transplant Team on Wednesday and then we are heading home! We have enjoyed Baltimore and are beyond blessed with the outcome of the transplant, but are eager to return to Kentucky! Thanks for the continued prayers and support!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Home away from home

At last, here are some pictures of the town home we are renting in Baltimore. The town home is in a wonderful location in Baltimore...we would recommend it to anyone coming to the area. We have enjoyed staying in Baltimore, but are eager to return to Kentucky next week! We are keeping our fingers crossed that we can leave Baltimore next Tuesday! Mark is doing great. We will post information from our next appointment with the Transplant Team on Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Transplant Clinic Appointment

Mark had a clinic appointment today with the Transplant Team. His blood work continues to show that everything is in normal limits. We are thrilled that the transplanted kidney appears to continue to be functioning well! Thanks for the continued prayers!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Out of the hospital!

Mark was discharged on Thursday afternoon! We are thrilled to be out of the hospital! Mark has been resting at the town home we are renting and is happy to be eating home cooked food! We go the the hospital 3 times a week to allow the transplant Team to continue monitoring the function of the kidney and the consistency of his blood as he is on a blood thinner. This morning, Mark's blood work indicated his creatinine has dropped back to 1.0! The adjustments in the medication appear to have resolved the rejection he was demonstrating last week. We will continue to post updates as we receive results of his blood work. We will remain in Baltimore until at least March 6th!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Signs of Improvement!!

Thank you all for your prayers! Mark is showing signs of improvement...his creatinine has dropped back down to 1.5. The Transplant Team seems to think that he does have mild cellular rejection, but that the rejection can be managed medically through additional steroids and additional immunosuppressant medications. The fact that Mark has responded so quickly and so favorably to the steroids is a good indication. Mark will not be discharged until around Thursday to allow them to administer the medications and continue to monitor him. Again, thanks for your prayers and keep them coming!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Prayer Request

Mark's creatinine has increased from 1.2 to 1.7 from this morning to this evening. In addition, his potassium has been higher than it was last week. These could be signs of several things including: dehydration, obstruction in blood flow, or rejection. We just spoke with the attending physician who has ordered a few adjustments in Mark's medicine. In addition, the Team is planning on doing an ultrasound of the transplanted kidney sometime soon to try to learn more about the function of the kidney. Please keep Mark in your prayers!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Chain of Love

Mom met her recipient today! It was an incredibly moving moment for us all! They spent some time getting to know one another and exchanged contact information. Mom and her recipient have a lot in common. They are very close in age. A second commonality was their love for their family. Mom's recipient has 13 grandchildren, 1 great grandchild, and another great grandchild on the way! It is a wonderful thought to think that Mom not only helped to restore her recipient's health, but also positively impacted so many people!

Mom was discharged on Monday and had her follow up appointment with her surgeon on Wednesday. Mark's creatinine is now 1.0! He is now on an oral blood thinner instead of heparin via IV. Thus, he will remain in the hospital through the weekend to allow for continuous monitoring of his blood consistency. We are hopeful he will be discharged on Monday.

Thanks for your continued prayers!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

"I think the kidney has found a happy place!"

Mark's creatinine is now at 1.3! The NG tube is out! Mark still can't eat, but he is moving around. He met Mark Thomas in the family waiting area. One of the most exciting moments today was when Dr. Montgomery, Mark's Transplant Surgeon, visited and stated, "I think the kidney has found a happy place!" Mom is also doing much, much better! She is eating a regular diet and is resting much more comfortably! Mom may be discharged on Monday or Tuesday! We are incredibly appreciative of all the love, support, and prayers our family has received over the past few weeks!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mom and Mark are out of ICU!!!

Mom and Mark are both out of ICU! Mom's blood pressure has been stable. She is now able to drink liquids and eat jello. Mom looks much, much better...the swelling from all the fluids she was given has started to go down. Mark's creatinine continues to be going down which is a wonderful indication of the function of the new kidney. His creatinine was 1.8 at the last check! We are waiting to hear the results of the PM analysis. His pain is much more controlled now. He is still unable to eat or drink and is looking forward to having his NG tube removed within the next few days. Mark's hemoglobin levels have been low. This may be a result of the fluids or pheresis. He has had some blood transfusions to help combat the loss of blood. We are hopeful that his hemoglobin levels increase and stay stable ASAP. Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers. It has been a difficult week, but things are starting to look much better!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Difficult Morning for Mom...Things Seem to be Looking Better

Here is an update on the transplants/surgeries:

1. Mom has had a difficult recovery thus far, but things appear to be improving. After surgery, Mom's blood pressure remained very low. She was given fluid to help increase her blood pressure. However, early this morning, she was rushed back into surgery as her blood pressure was not improving. An ultrasound of her abdomen indicated the presence of a potential bleed. However, during surgery, the surgeon could not locate any actively bleeding vessel. He did remove a large amount of blood-internally-around the surgical site. So, she was bleeding at some point, but the bleed appeared to be resolved during the surgery. She was placed in the ICU to be monitored more closely. At a point this morning, her numbers were still very unstable. However, at present, her blood pressure and hemoglobin levels are more stable. The physician now reports that he thinks the bleeding has stopped. Given the situation, Mom will remain in ICU and her hospitalization may be lengthened by a day or two to allow for more time for recovery. We are continuing to pray for Mom. Please also pray for my Dad...he is exhausted as he refused to leave Mom's side.

2. Mark appears to be doing well!!!!! His numbers are encouraging. His creatinine was around 15 prior to transplantation. During the last check, it was 5.6. In addition, his potassium is now within normal limits and his blood pressure is much improved. If you recall, his "numbers" never really improved after the first and second transplant. So, we are definitely encouraged. Normal limits for creatinine is usually a little below or above 1.0. We still have a way to go, but we are optimistic!

Mark's surgery took a little longer than anticipated to complete. The mesh that was used during the second transplant and hernia repair had grown into a portion of his bowel. Thus, during surgery, the Transplant Team had to remove a portion of the bowel. The Team does not seem overly concerned about this. Mark will remain NPO or unable to eat for a few days to allow for more time for the bowel to heal.

At present, Mark is more concerned about Mom than anything. Despite his NG tube and pain, he looks much better and seems to be feeling better. Mom and Mark are in the same ICU unit...a few beds separate them. Mark has been asking to be able to get up and go see Mom. He may be able to see her tomorrow if things continue improving.

3. From the Transplant Team's most recent report, Mom's recipient (who is also at Hopkins) is doing well. After surgery, one of the first things the recipient asked was, "When can I meet my donor?" Mom also wants to meet her recipient. When Mom's health is more stable, they should be able to meet. We are all looking forward to that moment!

4. From the Transplant Team's report, Mark's donor also seems to be doing well. We are hopeful the donor will release her information to us. We would love the opportunity to contact her and thank her for her gift of life to our family!

Please continue to pray for us all. Everyone is tired (physically and emotionally). We are thankful for your prayers!!!