Five miracles later, Marsden is celebrating life

By John Marsden | Dec 20, 2013
John Marsden

I’m living in miracles!

Thirty plus years ago I was informed that I was in the beginning stages of kidney failure thanks to the family genes.  I was symptom free. The kidney disease was not curable but the hypertension it created was treatable.

Life was pretty much normal for the next 30 years. I worked in a local high school, put two children through college and was looking forward to my golden years of retirement when I was informed that my kidney function had slipped lower than 20 percent after which my body would require dialysis.

At the suggestion of my doctor and after exhausting research, I made the decision to apply for a kidney transplant. Due to my good physical condition and my age (I was 58) the unit agreed to put me through a battery of physical, psychological and financial tests to see if I would qualify. They informed me that the ONLY thing I would need would be an aortic valve replacement. Miracle #1 — a new pig valve in my heart and almost back to normal in six months. I was now on the road to a transplant.

Though I was now on dialysis, which is in itself a miracle, things were looking up when…pow…prostate cancer. Miracle #2 - Brachy Therapy and no more cancer. But the transplant protocol would require me to be two years cancer free. Two years passed I was cancer free. Hope revived!

After four-and-a-half years of dialysis (two strokes and uremic poisoning) and only two months after being re-instated on the transplant list, I got my call.

Miracle #3.   My new kidneys would be transplanted at a small transplant center located at Eastern Tennessee State University Hospital in Johnson City. Unfortunately this center is no longer open due to an insufficient supply of transplantable organs, thus miracle #4…the unit was only 90 miles from home and opened and closed just long enough to change my life.

My life was back. I felt strong, alert and alert. I could travel, scuba dive, snow ski, motorcycle ride, hike, watch my grandkids grow up and celebrate my Lord and Savior…then…a nasty little bacteria snuck in under a crown on my tooth. After several months of chills, fever and fatigue, I was diagnosed with pericarditis…my aortic valve (which, as you remember was a pig valve) would need replacing, again…immediately. After a long recovery (well over a year) I am living miracle #5.

I will always be grateful to my God for His loving and guiding hand through all of this; for a devoted and loving wife who has stood by and pushed me to get off my butt when I didn’t think I could; to my children and their spouses for love, support and encouragement; to all the great physicians, nurses and hospital staff ; to the family who so generously donated their loved ones organs to save not only my life…but many others;  and to the many friends and professionals who used their God given gifts and talents to keep me alive and to encourage me to “keep on keepin’ on.”

I’m living a miracle. No, I’m the result of five miracles. I have much to be thank God for… and I do celebrate life.


Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary Ford | Dec 20, 2013 08:48

John you are an inspiration to us all!!  See you around the rec center!!

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