An Easter miracle: Local man receives new kidney
By Cheryl Parker

On Maundy Thursday, April 18, at 1 pm, the Even Dozen and Rural Woman’s Study Clubs were learning about organ donations from a team from the Iowa Donor’s Network.

About 1:45 pm that day, Paul Gudenkauf of Jesup came in the house after taking down a tree in his yard.

At 2 pm, Paul received a call from the Iowa Donor Network that two kidneys were enroute to Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines; one was for him.

A few hours later he arrived in Des Moines and was being prepped for transplant surgery. The kidneys arrived after he did. The other kidney recipient arrived at the hospital, and the transplant team did that person first.

By 6 am on Good Friday, Paul had a new kidney.

The church season of lent has a special connection with Paul – it was five years ago on Ash Wednesday that he received his prior kidney transplant.

Two weeks later Paul is home, feeling a little sore and tired, but very thankful. His schedule includes going to Allen Hospital in Waterloo every Monday and Thursday for a blood draw, and a trip to Des Moines’ Iowa Methodist Hospital Transplant Clinic on Wednesdays where he consults with his doctor and pharmacist, vital signs are taken and other necessary tests are done. “Iowa Methodist usually does about 80 organ transplants a year,” said Paul, but the week he went in they did eight that week alone!

Paul is very grateful for everyone who had a part in his kidney transplant. “I’m living proof that it works!” Paul said.
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