Well, it is finally over... Blakers has a new kidney! Thank you to all of those involved in that process. Thank you to Steph for wanting to be a donor! Thank you to all the medical staff at UIHC that have cared for, are caring for, will continue to care for Blake! Thank you to the surgical team for making this happen! Thank you to our friends, family, and community for all of your support! It was a long, hard, frustrating, joyful day!
Here is an update of how things went on transplant day:
It actually started the night before as Blake was admitted We came up with a plan for his last night of dialysis which included a short 5 hours on his machine. The night also included a try at cleansing his bowels which was unsuccessful other than keeping Aaron awake all night as they did 3 attempts at enemas. Blake wasn't happy about this but he went right back to sleep. Aaron on the other hand got little to no sleep.
The morning of transplant we were taken to pre-op around 7 am. Sure enough, that little stinker who wouldn't poop all night decided that he would take care of that when we didn't have any diapers or wipes with us. We handed him over to the nurse at 8 am and off to surgery he went.
Then... started the longest day ever. We got very few updates throughout the day but when we did it always seemed positive. Little did we know what was really going on. Around 2 pm, it seemed like the clocks stopped moving.
At 5 pm, they said they thought they had about 2 hours to go. We thought we would be done around 5.
At 6 pm, the day of surgery waiting room closed and we were sent up to PICU where we were told maybe another hour.
At 7 pm, we were told maybe another 20-30 minutes.
Around 8 pm, we saw the kidney surgeon. She explained how the surgery had gone. At some point, during the putting in of the new kidney there was some bleeding from a damaged artery. That led to the new kidney now acting like a deceased donors kidney and didn't start working right away. That was fixed and watched as they finished the bladder surgery. That was probably a blessing since they still had him open and could watch it get to work. It still led to an ultrasound after being brought up to the PICU to make sure that it was fully functional.
Around 9 pm, we finally got to see Blake. He finally got to the PICU where we found out there was also a CLUSTER at the end of the surgery. After closing him up, they did inventory and came up a needle short from what they started with. An X-ray ensued, followed by another X-ray to make sure this needle wasn't in there. Then they recounted and actually had 1 more than they needed... whatever! No needle in there so let Blake go.
So from 9-10 PM a whole team got him settled in to his room. They did an ultrasound to make sure things were working. They kept doing the ultrasound and we were antsy so I asked our nurse to get our kidney doctor out in the hall because I thought I was going to throw up from not knowing. Dr. Jetton said everything looked great! It was like a huge weight had been lifted from our shoulders!
We then were able to really see him and kiss on him and talk to him. He looked so good! The nurse encouraged us, since Blake was going to be sedated, to both stay at the Ronald McDonald House last nite, so we did.
We have to say a special thanks to Adam, Jill and Noah for keeping us occupied for the first part of the day. Also, our friends who are like family - Jay Smith and Emily and Sara Morgan who were with us through the hardest of times - the end. Your support meant the world to us and I'm quite certain we wouldn't have made it without them.
More updates to come and I'll try to post some pictures. Please continue to pray for good recoveries for both Blake and Steph!