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updated: 1/15/2013 8:48 AM

Ind. woman moves closer to needed transplant

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Associated Press

DARMSTADT, Ind. -- The wild ride for Darmstadt, Ind., resident Lisa Keck in her pursuit of a kidney transplant continues, keeping her in a bundle of nerves and totally exasperated.

The high hopes Keck, 49, had for finding a donor were dashed three different times when serious donor candidates were disqualified since last March.

But now, Keck's spirits are greatly elevated since word came this month from the Indiana University Transplant Center in Indianapolis that a fourth donor candidate stepped forward -- and this time has qualified as a match.

"It's God's time. It's God's gift," Keck told the Evansville Courier & Press ( ). "I can't get over it: Somebody is willing to give me an organ."

Kathy Carnes, a registered nurse and transplant coordinator at the IU center, called Keck last Tuesday, asking "What are you doing on the 17th (Jan. 17)."

Keck said she was thinking Carnes was calling to book an appointment for some medical tests, which she must keep updated to remain on the IU potential recipients list.

As she looked for her appointment book, Carnes told her, "We have a kidney."

Keck, numb from disbelief, asked: "Are you sure this time?"

"Oh, yes," Carnes said. "The donor (unidentified) wants to meet you, and we want you to come up to Indianapolis on the 14th (of January) to do that and to do pre-surgery blood work, an EKG check... We have your surgery scheduled for Jan. 17 at 5:30 a.m."

Keck said, "Oh, wait a minute. I'm writing all this down. Are you sure?"

Carnes then told Keck she would call her later in the week.

When Keck arrived the next morning at the Ohio Valley Dialysis Center for dialysis, a staff technician, who was contacted by IU with the good news, knew why she was all smiles: The news had finally sunk in for her.

While in dialysis, Keck's cellphone rang with a call from the Indiana Comprehensive Health Insurance Association, her new insurer.

Keck lost her Wellborn Health Plans plan when that company folded last year.

"We don't have verification that you have new insurance coverage, because Welborn is gone," the ICHIA representative said.

It was an unfortunate time for the glitch to surface. But, the problem is expected to be resolved this week. Meanwhile, the surgery at the Indiana University Health Hospital in Indianapolis is on hold.

Keck worried that the donor wouldn't wait.

Carnes called Keck Thursday, reassuring her that the donor agreed to wait.

"At this point, I'm just thankful the donor is willing to wait," Keck said. "I wish the devil would just leave me alone. He's tried everything. I don't fold easily. `Devil, just move on."'

Rev. Steve Kieser, pastor of Darmstadt Lutheran Church where Keck is a member, said, "God's will is being done, and we can trust that whatever that will is it is good ... We're going to see Lisa all the way through."

Both Keck and her husband, Kerry, 51, are victims of diabetes.

Kerry also needs a kidney transplant, but isn't considered in good enough health yet for placement on a potential recipients list. "He's now holding out for me," Lisa Keck said. "He's excited for me. It would be hard to work on a recipient for both of us simultaneously."

Keck's current kidney-donor candidate wanted to remain anonymous, but now the donor is willing to meet Lisa two days before the eventual surgery."

Carnes said she can understand a person wanting to donate out of the goodness of his or her heart and not want to be glorified.

"But, it's also nice when they let their identity be known," she said.

Carnes said she would encourage anybody who wants to be a donor to just do it.

"It is a wonderful feeling for the person giving the organ as well as for the person receiving it.

"Donors certainly save lives."

To learn whether a person might qualify as a donor, call the IU Health Transplant Center at 800-382-4602.

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