Kidney-Pancreas Transplant: Mary's Story
"My 17 years post-transplant have brought the most wonderful, exciting experiences of my life. My dream of motherhood came true threefold ... and my husband, Jim, has stood by me through the worst and the best of times."
- Mary, who underwent kidney/pancreas transplantation at UW Hospital in 1989 and has subsequently given birth to three boys
Mary, pictured with her husband, Jim, and their three sons, underwent a kidney/pancreas transplant at UW Hospital in 1989.
"My husband Jim and I married in 1985 full of dreams and plans for the future. Though diabetic since the age of 13, we soon discovered that we were pregnant! Happiness soon turned to shock, disbelief and fear as we were given the devastating news that our pregnancy was to be terminated due to renal failure.
With the care and compassion of my nephrologists, I was soon directed to the UW Health Transplant Program, where I was placed on a list awaiting a kidney/pancreas transplant. The coordinators, nurses and physicians guided me through the next three years of uncertainty.
The call to the hospital came on July 27, 1989. A new life and lifestyle emerged with an incredible feeling of good health and energy that I could hardly remember from a time long past. The providers at the Transplant Clinic became my lifeline and lab results strengthened my resolve to return to a normal life.
Three additional years passed with follow-up visits coming less frequently as I maintained my lab levels. I was feeling so wonderful and had so much more energy! I joined a company baseball team, sure that I could play sports and enjoy the activities that had been so difficult prior to the transplant.
My time on the team, however, was short-lived as a sore foot sent me to the doctor. While I had been advised that becoming pregnant after transplantation was unlikely, a routine pregnancy test was done prior to the X-ray that day. When the news came back that the test was positive, I could hardly believe it! Was I going to be a mother after all?
After an incredibly wonderful pregnancy with regular visits to my obstetrician and close contact with the transplant providers, I gave birth to our son Daniel on December 3, 1992. At that time this was only the second birth recorded to a double transplant patient!
But we weren't done yet, as son Joel joined us in January, 1995 and then Joshua in December, 1995. (Yes, the same year!). Our family of five is now complete and life is hectic and full of baseball games, football, school activities, band concerts and basketball practice.
My seventeen years post-transplant have brought the most wonderful, exciting experiences of my life. My dream of motherhood came true threefold! My sons are the joy of my life. My husband, Jim, has stood by me through the worst and the best of times, often reminding me of my strengths and how powerful a positive attitude has and will continue to be.
I continue to follow-up with the Transplant Clinic and have regular monthly labs - a small price to pay for the gift I have been given. While some of the faces have changed, the care and compassion remain the same."