Friday, March 9, 2012

Back in the Bluegrass at last!

We are happy to report that we are back in Kentucky! After a final visit with the Transplant Team Wednesday morning, we left Baltimore and headed home to the Bluegrass! When we arrived at my parents' home on Wednesday night, we were greeted outside by my family. My sister had decorated the patio with blue and white balloons and a "Welcome to KY" sign. When Mark got out of the car, my family played the "Rocky" theme song. Mark, of course, had to assume the classic Rocky pose with his hands in the air. Mark Thomas, my nephew-Landon, and my nieces-Kate and Madelyn all began dancing. It was a wonderful moment!

Mark will continue to complete blood work two times weekly from Kentucky. We will fax all of his reports to Hopkins to allow them to closely monitor Mark's kidney function. Mark will also see Dr. Waid, the Nephrologist/Renal-Pancreas Transplant Director at UK, every other week. Dr. Waid, who initiated Mark's referral to Hopkins, will work in collaboration with Dr. Montgomery (Mark's physician at Hopkins). We will also be followed by a Cardiologist at UK who will monitor Mark's coumadin (blood thinner) use.

We will return to Baltimore this summer for Mark's 6 month check up at Hopkins. In addition, Mark will have a surgery to repair a surgical hernia. This is the same hernia he has had since his second transplant. We will stay in Baltimore for about 2 weeks. The usual post transplant protocol at Hopkins entails completion of a biopsy at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after transplant. The biopsy is a way of ensuring there is no presence of rejection at the cellular level. However, the Team decided not to biopsy Mark's kidney as he is on the blood thinner.

We have requested information about Mark's donor several times. Mark's nurse coordinator feels confident that Mark's donor will release her information to us. We are eager to correspond with Mark's donor! Mom has been in in touch with her recipient, Ms. Smith. Mom sent her a card and they have spoken on the phone. Mom and Ms. Smith are hoping to exchange pictures of their families sometime soon.

The picture of Mark to the left was taken in the
Administrative Building at Hopkins (depicted in the photograph on the right). One of Mom's physicians told us that although Hopkins is not a faith based institution, the statue of Christ is cornerstone of the facility. It is often visited by patients and staff. Mark and I were eager to see the statue. We remain so incredibly thankful for what Our God has done for our family!