Saturday, April 27, 2013

Wendy is Home and Nicole is Rocking - A Selfless Sacrifice

The past two days have just been fantastic.  At the time of my last blog entry Wendy was starting on her uphill climb to feeling better and Nicole was moved to her regular room.  Since then, Wendy just got better and better and was released from the hospital early this afternoon!!  Incredibly fantastic.  She came over to see Nicole in her room yesterday and again today.  Today, before she left, you would have hardly known that she had just donated a major organ to Nicole.  It was just an amazing transformation in two days and I am so thankful she made it over her struggles that she was experiencing.  Thank you all for praying for her.  I texted her this morning to thank her once again for her amazing sacrifice to Nicole.  I am sure she would not mind me putting her response down for you all to read.  It just captures what an amazing, selfless person Wendy is....

"I am humbled and blessed to be a part of this miracle.  I would do it all over in a heartbeat after seeing her (Nicole) yesterday.  God is so good...."

Keep in mind, this is coming from a lady that just had a hole gashed in her side and had spent a few days in total misery and discomfort.  As she watched Nicole play and bounce around this morning in our room you could just tell that what she said was the truth.  She would endure all of this again for Nicole....and she says that she was humbled.  I would like to say that I am humbled as well.  Here is a picture taken in Nicole's room this morning.  I can see Wendy being in Nicole's life for a very long time.



For Nicole, her kidney functions have just continued to improve and she is rockin'.  She is totally off fluids through the IV and has a target fluid intake of 2 liters per day.  She is used to drinking a lot so that should be doable with a bit of encouragement.  Titia and I asked her if she wanted to play this morning in the play room and she jumped out of bed and practically ran to the play room.  There was no keeping her down today.  The drugs are wearing off and she is really starting to feel good.  SID, her new kidney, is really producing a ton of urine and her creatinine, increased levels being a primary indicator of renal failure, have improved from a pre-operation level of 3.2+ to 0.5, well within normal levels.  Everything is working just as it should right now.  We have gotten past the critical first 24-48 hours and now we are on to phase 2, getting through the first few months.  Here are some pictures of Nicole playing today...

Nicole has had a lot of visitors since we have been up here.  I started to list them but there have been so many I am certain I will forget someone so I am going to forego that temptation :).  But here is a great picture of 3 of her primary teachers this year at Mansfield Christian as well Cy Smith, the superintendent at MCS.  Please know that Nicole, Titia, and I are all thankful for those that have visited, called, prayed, posted FaceBook messages, and sent texts to provide encouragement at this critical time.  It has meant so much to us.

Where do we go from here?  Well, the docs have said that they see no reason why Nicole can't go home on Monday.  I am no doctor, but from watching her bounce off the walls today I would have to agree.  I am afraid she is going to take laps around the floor tomorrow.  Keeping this girl down with SID rockin' in her is going to be a difficult task.  The last thing Stu Killian said after seeing her this morning was..."good luck".  He could see that this little girl with a fully functioning body is going to be a dynamo of energy.  That is a great problem to have!!!

The last thing the staff here is working on is the balance of her anti-rejection meds.  It truly is a trial and error type thing.  They start out with doses of medicine and then adjust them up and down to try and reach known ranges where kidney rejection is avoided and her body can still function.  We have found the staff here at Rainbow Babies and Children to be totally incredible.  The docs, surgeons, nephrology team, nurses, and everyone behind the scenes to be competent, friendly, professional, and encouraging of parental input.  I could not have imagined a better experience.  A couple of the docs don't possess the best bed-side manners, but that can be overlooked by their competence in their field of expertise.  We are thankful to all of them.

Finally, a little lesson in being selfless.  Jesus stated in John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.

Wendy Killian has lived out this principle for Nicole.  No, Wendy did not die in the process of giving Nicole a kidney to help her live.  She could have.  Titia and I are well aware of that risk and I am certain that both Stu and Wendy were aware of that risk as well.  It does happen.  However, I do not doubt that the love of God working in this woman would have permitted her the grace to do so if that is what Nicole needed to live.  I totally believe that to be true.  Look at what she said above....she was humbled to play a part in this miracle.  The true miracle of this transplant so far has not been an improvement in kidney function but a demonstration of the radical love of God.  What reaches has God made to demonstrate his love for us, his children.  Creation, life, breath, Himself, His Son, the death of His Son, and the everyday miracles that we take for granted.  We are called to demonstrate this radical love in our own life with the ultimate sacrifice being to lay day our lives for our friends.  If I would have seen nothing else in my life other than this transplant from a humble teacher to my daughter then I would have seen enough to know what true love is.  Thank you does not seem sufficient.

For His Glory,


  1. Brian and Letitia,
    I found your blog when I was searching to see if the news did any post coverage on Nicole. I am soooo thrilled to hear of her progress!!!! It has been so wonderful to share with my family what you write each time about God's character, power and goodness along with Nicole's miracle gift from God. We serve an amazing Savior! Can't wait to see this sweet little girl in Awanas and church again:)
    God bless you all,
    Teresa Slaubaugh and family

  2. Such wonderful news, and such a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. You and Titia, Nicole, and the family have been an inspiration. You have trusted God, remained faithful and hopeful, and have given God all the glory. May Nicole continue toward a complete healing and Wendy be blessed for her sacrifice. Blessings and hugs to you all.

    Ann (Deffenbaugh) Blankenship

  3. Two thumbs up because that's all I have. Brian, you really should think about writing as a side career. I am always blessed to read what you write. God's grace is an amazing thing. Aren't we all blessed to witness it in so many ways in our lives if we just look for it?

    Debi Grove Casey

  4. This has ministered to my heart in ways I cannot describe! My husband & I Pastor two churches here in Illinois. He has FSGS Type 2 renal disease is, currently, on dialysis & the active donor's list. Your story is very encouraging, as I am sure you know, some days/weeks can be very discouraging. God bless & praying for Nicole, Wendy, & both your families! Debra Wenger