8. May 2012 23:30
Oh the annual work Christmas party. Most people go just to show their face and then they discretely leave because no one truly wants to attend for more than an hour. And initially this was our plan. Go in, have a drink, say our hello's and leave. When we got there I realized I didn't know ANYONE except Vincent and his parents. And I had only met them a handful of times. Yet that's a handful more than I had met all the others. So of course I waltzed myself right over to a comfort zone. I started chatting with his mom about where they were from, how long they've lived here, etc. I finally found myself asking about Vincent and his condition. She explained to me, very openly, which didn't make me feel like I was invasive to their privacy, that when she was pregnant with Vincent she and her husband were told during an ultrasound that his kidneys were dilated. This meant that her amniotic fluid had to be kept at a very careful watch.
After many ultrasounds, 10 weeks prior to her due date Vincent was born via C-Section and kept in the NICU for 49 days. Which means she brought home this tiny newborn 3 weeks before he was even technically due. I was floored. My heart went out to her, being a mother myself, I couldn't imagine ever bringing home a child so early with these conditions. She went on to explain to me that when he was born his condition was called Hydronephrosis, which translates into water in the kidneys.
Vincent has been on the deceased donor list for more than two years and has been so close to receiving just what he needs but hadn't ever found "the one." By the end of this conversation I told her I'd be willing to be tested to see if I was a match, and quite frankly after hearing her story from a mother's standpoint, I couldn't wait to go see if I matched the first round of tests. I knew that I was 110% dedicated to giving my kidney, whether I matched or not. But I had this odd feeling that I found the person I had been looking forward to meeting ever since watching that Grey's Anatomy episode. I don't know if she was as excited as I was; mind you, she's been through plenty of people "willing" to be tested and "willing" to donate, so I couldn't imagine her getting her hopes too high. But by the end of that night I was on the edge of my seat waiting for her to text me the nurse's phone number.
And this is truly where our story begins...