“One year ago today at 4:30 a.m. Kenneth Wells, and wife Terri, received the most amazing call….
“Mr. Wells, we received a lung for you, you’re going to be OK!”
It was a beautiful new beginning after receiving devastating news this past February. Long-time Devine residents, Kenneth and Terri Wells, share their story of organ donation.
“In January 2018, Kenneth (a retired SA policeman) and Terri Wells (Devine Arabian Athletic Director) retired and sold their home in Devine. They bought a fifth wheel in hopes of traveling for a while. But in February, Kenneth became very ill with what doctors thought to be pneumonia.
“Kenneth continued to get worse and finally got into a pulmonary doctor. It was then we were told he had IPF (Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis). It was the same disease his second cousin had passed away from just a month prior awaiting his transplant,” Terri said.
After being told he would not be able to receive a transplant until August in San Antonio; his doctor got on the phone with Baylor St. Luke’s in Houston.
“A week later Kenneth was transferred to Chi Baylor St. Luke’s Hospital. Kenneth underwent numerous tests to qualify for a transplant. We were told that if he failed just one test he would not qualify for a transplant,” said wife Terri.
Four days later, after passing all medical screening, he was transferred to Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital to await a lung transplant.
“People were great and I was allowed to stay with him,” Terri said. “Here we met many people old and young waiting to receive another chance on life. I attended many social groups learning all I could about the process as Kenneth was bedridden. After waiting just 5 days, we received that much awaited call.”
“We knew there was a risk that he may not be a perfect match even after being prepped for surgery….. With God’s blessing, the team came in to tell us Kenneth was prepped and ready and that they had a perfect match. We have written our angel donors family and hope to hear from them. Even if we do not, that’s ok, we just wanted them to know how thankful we were for their family member’s decision to check the box of being an organ donor…and how their family member has made such a difference in so many lives. We also wanted them to know that we knew no words could take away their pain, but that their loved one lived on in so many. It’s been a rollercoaster ride, and we thank God everyday for his Blessing.”
If you check that box when you go in to renew your driver’s license, you could help a family like the Wells.
“Throughout all the tears, the nurses gathered around Kenneth and I, and we thanked God for the precious gift,” Terri said.
Surrounded by his our kids, grandchildren, and so many loved ones, the Wells patiently awaited as the surgery took many hours.
“I will never forget the moment when I told Kenneth to take his first breath without being confined to an oxygen mask! He whispered, ‘I can’t!’ I told him, your angel donor gave you a new lung–take a breath! Kenneth, with tears streaming down his face, said, ‘I can breathe!’ God is so good!”
This Monday, (June 10th), the Wells are traveling back to Houston once again, for a special visit!
“One year without rejection of the lung, with only a few scary moments, we once again praise God for all his glory. We also pray for our angel donors family! What a difference a year can make! And how in a blink of an eye your life can be forever different than you once knew it!” Terri adds.
The Wells have fifteen beautiful grandchildren they are enjoying now, so Grandpa Kenneth has lots of fun to look forward to….and all courtesy of some special giving person who chose to check that box and give him and many others a life-saving organ donation.
Organ Donation facts:
-One donation can save 8 lives and help 50 other people with tissue needs.
-Currently, more than 110,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the United States. More than 8,000 are Texans.
-In Medina County, about 49% of residents are registered organ donors.