What happens when you answer the phone to the sound of your mother crying on a hospital bed asking for a kidney? Not a figurative request that represents the love and affection that is due to the person who deposited life into you on the day of birth. Not a theoretical entreaty that allows one to peruse the peripheral areas of reality under the protection of the hypothetical. Not a demand that persuades one to act out of trepidation and fear. No, what if your mother made a simple appeal saying “I need you to get tested, dialysis is no longer working.” What happens when the kindest person you have ever encountered, goes through so much natural pain. What happens when technology and globalization have never been so hard to cope with, when your mother asks for a kidney from hundreds of miles away? No eye contact, no affectionate hug and kiss, just her voice through the speaker of a five inch blackberry tour. What happens when you answer that phone call and feel the tears from a woman’s face that you love, and you don’t have the choice to face her?
This happened to me yesterday. And all I could say, was “of course.” Of course I will take a test to see if I can give my mother one of kidneys. Right after I hung up the phone, I went on youtube and saw what it looked like to have a kidney transplants. For all those who watched the video, it looks like it hurts…bad. I have never even had stitches before and all I can think of is John 15:13, no greater love than this, than a man that lays down his life for a friend (or in this case a mother). I know, I know, hyperbole sneaks into my thoughts at times, but when dealing with any type of high risk surgical operation, the reality of life and death inevitably cross through my brain (especially when my mother is involved). My mom has had Lupus since I was a little kid, so I grew up seeing her frequent hospitals. My mother has asked both me and my older sister to get tested to see if our kidneys are a match to her body. Those childhood experiences of seeing my mother sick have now come into full fruition.
“The risks of donation are similar to those involved with any major surgery, such as bleeding and infection. Death resulting from kidney donation is extremely rare. Current research indicates that kidney donation does not change life expectancy or increase a person’s risks of developing kidney disease or other health problems.” (http://www.umm.edu/transplant/kidney/qanda.htm#2)
Regardless if I end up donating my kidney to my mother or not, when situations like this surface, it forces you to put your life into perspective. It turns individualism into community building, it changes selfishness into putting others first, it transforms capitalism into consideration. At least it has for me, more now than ever before.