Ole Yeller

by Mavis Reeves

To begin with I don't trust doctors, never have, never will. I am 56 years old and have always depended on herbs and vitamins to keep me in good health. Especially "yellow root tea," which to me is a cure-all. My niece Susan was on dialysis and the doctors told her that it wouldn't work for long. After visiting her, Romans 15:1 came to my mind and wouldn't leave. "We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not please ourselves."

My husband and son were watching sports on TV when I asked them what they thought about me giving Susan one of my kidneys. They said, "yeah, good idea, that's fine..." After I went for the blood test and found out that we were a perfect match, they realized what I had said and it scared them. But they said they would stand behind me if that's what I really wanted to do. I went to UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama for the physical. The nurses and staff were wonderful and the tests weren't that bad. A man and woman came by to visit me the first day who had received kidneys from other donors. They were so grateful that someone had cared enough to donate their organs after they were gone. The man had named his kidney "Fred" after his donor. The renal arteriogram test was the worst part. That's where they put dye in your body and check your kidneys out on a monitor. I had to lie with my leg still for many hours. I had two and a half hours to go when my husband called and said,"How long should these potatoes boil before I mash them?" He didn't know that my daughter Twyla had dinner cooked already. She was a great help to us all.

When they took me down for the renal arteriogram, a young man who was helping with the test said to me "You're in for many blessings." I didn't know what he meant at the time. After three days they told me I was one healthy lady and released me.

Surgery was set for May 12, which is my dad's birthday. After calling a few chosen people to pray for us (when you're having major surgery, you want people who can really touch heaven for you), we were ready.

We checked into UAB on the May 11. After more blood was drawn and a few more tests were done, we were able to rest and visit. Surgery took four hours.

After it was all over (except the pain), the surgeons said that everything went beautifully. In fact I was doing so well they released me after two days, so I could come home. The kidney was already working 100% for Susan. She had to stay a few weeks for them to draw blood and make sure she wouldn't reject. After two weeks they let her come home for her daughter Natalie's graduation ceremonies. She graduated May 29 from high school.

Susan came by to see me while she was home. I knew then what the young man meant by "many blessings." We are both doing great and the kidney is still working 100%. Susan's dad named the kidney "Ole Yeller" because of all the yellow root tea I drink. No, I didn't see angels, my ancestors, nor the light at the end of the tunnel, but I did feel Jesus standing beside me all the way. I was never afraid! Phillipians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."