My Christmas miracle

December 22, 2022

By Ira Hadnot

Blessings are not seasonal. For example, this year October became my December with its expectation of giving and getting on a grand scale. That is because on October 6, 2022, I received the gift of a lifetime: a kidney transplant.

At any given time in the US, thousands of people wait expectantly on organ transplant lists for the telephone call, the one that informs them a match with an organ donor has been found. When a candidate for an organ transplant is accepted into a program, the patient is told to pack an overnight travel bag and keep it ready, because that life-giving call could come at virtually any time.

I kept a leather overnight travel bag packed on the top shelf of my closet for six years before I received my blessing. At first, like an expectant mother, I counted the days, weeks, months and even years. Some organ transplant candidates keep a bag packed for as long as 15 years before the call informing them of an organ donor comes. The waiting tests your faith.

Unfortunately for some, that call never comes. Too many organ transplant candidates die before a match with a donor becomes available. For a variety of reasons, African Americans are under- represented in transplant programs and those that are accepted into a program typically remain on the waiting list longer.

I believe that blessings are guaranteed by a source greater than ourselves. Because of that there is something miraculous about them. If you are on a waiting list for an organ transplant, it is important to stay confident and continue believing that your turn is coming.

About two months ago, events aligned themselves like stars in the sky and led me to a new, healthier life. A long time ago, a different star led three wise men to a manger. Whether you are on a an organ transplant list or not, hold on to your faith and keep an overnight bag packed. The spirit of Christmas will eventually find you too.

Milwaukee resident Ira Hadnot is a retired journalist and kidney transplant survivor.

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