This story was written by Lisa Barker.
Check out Lisa and Reid’s original stories.
2.6.14 and 12.11.18 will forever be two of the most important and life-changing dates in our lives. It has now been 7 years since my life was saved through a liver transplant and 2 years since my husband, Reid donated his kidney to a friend.
My health has been great. I have continued to have no signs of infection or rejection and have continued to live a beautiful life thanks to the gift of organ donation.
Reid is doing wonderful since his living kidney donation. He has had no health concerns and continues to live a healthy life. His kidney recipient, Jon is healthy and back to living an abundant life being a Dad to his four children.
The pandemic has of course brought about challenges being immunosuppressed and we have taken extreme cautions to ensure the gift that has been given to me stays healthy. It is an honor to stay diligent and do my part to keep myself and others compromised healthy.
One of the greatest gifts that organ donation has granted me is the gift of becoming a Mama to two sweet little boys. We adopted our precious boys in October 2019 from Burundi, Africa. Frank is 7 years old and Blaise is 6 years old. They are the light of our lives. If it was not for my beautiful organ donor, Courtney Sterling saving my life…I would not have been able to grant a new life to Frank and Blaise. The ripple effect of organ donation is so beautiful.
We continue to have the most incredible relationship with my donor’s family. We call Courtney’s parents, our Godparents and now our sweet boys call them MawMaw and PawPaw. Seeing the way they love our boys and continue to welcome us with open arms into their lives is incredible. Our boys adore them and are blessed to have another set of grandparents. It is a relationship all of us never imagined but it is a silver lining to our stories.
I am still a dental hygienist and Reid is a still teacher. Organ donation has allowed us to continue to live our dream careers. I feel like our mission field is where our feet are planted. We have the unique opportunity to share our story with my patients, co-workers, and for Reid, his co-workers, students, and community.
Reid recently had a student email and tell him thank you for sharing his story of living kidney donation and adoption to the middle school students. She went on to say that it opened her mind to the thought of being an organ donor and possibly adopting her own children one day. Again, the ripple effect of donation is so beautiful. I always tell my donor parents that there is no way we will ever know on this side of heaven the amount of lives Courtney impacted and continues to impact by having chosen a selfless yes to being an organ donor.
I believe our stories can change lives. It is an honor to share ours. To help those who are going through a transplant or considering living kidney donation. To bring them comfort that we ourselves received through our journey. Our lives are meant to be lived for the Glory of God and we praise HIm for the beauty of this extra time and life that has been granted to our family.
We hope to continue to inspire others to give life and to live life abundantly recognizing how special it is to wake up each day. To live a life that is selfless and loving your neighbors as you love yourself. That is what organ donation is all about.
Michael Murphy says
Hi Lisa, I too had a liver transplant 7 years ago as well, 2.20.2015. We are very lucky. I am a school photographer and try keeping active. Last year we purchased a motorhome and are traveling weekends for now. I did write a thank you card to my donor family. I just wanted them to know their loved ones gift lives on. We have become grandparents 3 years ago, Olivia is the new light of our life.
I started telling my story to others, in case they go through the same as us.