April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Duck Ponderings: A new kidney and liver for Amy

Not long ago, I wrote an article about Amy Steward. I got to know Amy and her family due to Amy being a student of mine years ago at Hope Elementary. Within my teacher memory albums, I still have Amy's Thanksgiving plate which she drew herself and the sunshine with the words, "I thank God for my life."

Amy entered this world about 33 years ago with a terrible kidney disease, hyperoxaluria or oxalosis. Her dad, Mike, gave one of his kidneys, and the disease quickly destroyed it. Then, her mom, Janice, gave one that lasted for thirty years until the disease returned and caused many other problems.

Not only did Amy's kidney stop functioning, her liver became quite impaired too. Blood circulation was also hindered to her legs. Consequently, each was partially amputated.

Despite it all, Amy remained optimistic; her parents and her husband, Matt, remained optimistic. And, her three year-old son, Joshua, told Santa this last Christmas he only wanted his mom to get well. Santa then left his chair and met with the family privately to offer a prayer.

Time went by. Amy went through dialysis for hours every day in the home of her parents under the watchful care of her mom who is also a nurse. Much attention was given to her legs and their healing at home and as well as at the Columbus Regional Wound Care Center so that each could eventually be fitted with a prosthesis. In the meantime, Amy was uplifted in prayer by many within this community and other communities.

When visiting with Amy, she was scooting around on her bottom, confident she would be walking soon. Sure enough, she and Matt attended a Willow LeaVes Dinner Concert with Amy able to walk in and out. When talking to them that evening, they expressed hope in receiving a new liver and kidney.

The next morning, the Stewards unexpectedly attended our church, Hope United Methodist, and we asked them to share a little. It was quite an emotional scene, in particular when Amy walked to the front. Of course, Matt and Joshua were close by her side. After graduating from Hauser, Amy had operated a child care center at her parents' home, and it was great that one of her kids, Abby Kidwell, was at church. Abby also joined Amy up front with their reunion smiles filling the sanctuary.

Well, a few days afterward, Mike called stating IU had a kidney and liver and that Amy was on her way. After hours of surgery and days in intensive care, I am pleased to report that Amy now has a functioning kidney and liver again!

When recently visiting, the Lawsons were pleased to report they no longer had the dialysis machine in their home. Amy was at the kitchen table eating a grape Popsicle and drinking lots of water. Even though I can not recall ever being too fond of them, I was glad to join her with a cherry one when offered.

It was like another Christmas in March for the Steward and Lawson family. Amy is extremely grateful! Janice is now ready to finish her book about Amy's story. For Joshua, he could not be happier. He's looking forward to spending more time with his mom, with his family together. Unsure of what he will be asking from Santa this year, I would suggest a nice vacation to Disney World, where even more dreams come true![[In-content Ad]]