Bousman, Dinn recovering following kidney transplant

Monday, August 22, 2011

As he recovers in the hospital today, it's easy to see the blessings in Nathan Bousman's life.

The 34-year-old received a kidney transplant on Friday in what his surgeon described as "the easiest transplant he'd ever done." He knows his days on dialysis are likely done.

He has a much better chance of enjoying a long happy life with his wife Jennifer and their four daughters.

But Bousman was focused on the blessings in his life last week before his Friday surgery and even several months ago before he knew he would even find a donor.

"What an experience it's been to learn how important it is to live your life. I've realized how important God is in my life," Bousman said.

Several months ago, Bousman's struggle to find a kidney donor were highlighted in the Banner Graphic, in the months that followed, 10 of his fellow members of Greencastle Christian Church were tested. Amazingly, two of them were perfect matches.

Both Stephanie Dinn and Sandy Wiggs were willing to go under the knife for Bousman, but Dinn got through the testing first. Like Bousman, she spent the weekend recovering from the surgery and was doing well.

Bousman called finding two matches in so few tests "an absolute miracle."

"It's absolutely been from God," he said. "This has all been a huge blessing from God. I owe it all to him for putting me with them, with her, everything."

The way the Bousmans found out about Dinn's generosity caused them a bit of stress. Dinn had set up a meeting with them at GCC senior pastor Mark Miller's house last month to let them know.

"There's only two reasons your minister calls you to the house -- you've either done something really good or something really bad," Bousman said.

As it turned out, Dinn was in the process of doing something really good.

After a few minutes of chatting between the Bousmans and the minister, Dinn finally arrived. Standing in the middle of the room, she looked at Jennifer and Nathan and simply said, "I'm your kidney."

"From that moment on, there was shock," Miller said. "The tears flowed, just a tremendous outpouring of love and joy, going from wondering if the minister was going to give them a hard time about something to just utter joy and happiness.

"Needless to say, we broke down. If someone's willing to go under for you and give a part of their body, is there much more of a sacrifice than that?" Bousman said.

Even Bousman's job situation -- he co-owns Bousman and Miller Plumbing with Scott Miller -- has worked out well as he's been going through this experience. The business is just the two of them, but they've hired someone to fill in for the four or five weeks Bousman will be out.

"I've got a heck of a business partner," he said. "He's been very supportive and understanding throughout this ordeal."

The support and understanding on all fronts is still needed as he recovers. The month or so off work is for the time of seclusion Bousman's body needs. He has to stay away from any kind of infection and take time to make sure his body is accepting the new kidney. During that time, GCC is trying to support the family.

"We took up the offering that will go toward helping them with some of the time that they're off work and helping them with such things as vacation pay and sick pay and some things that they're obviously going to have to take away from their employment," Miller said. "And just the whole prayer and emotional support for them is another big thing that we're doing to help them out."

Anyone interested in supporting the families may give in their names at Greencastle Christian Church, 620 Primrose Ln., Greencastle.

Once he's recovered, Bousman has a couple of goals -- one simple and one that he'll spend the rest of his life trying to accomplish.

"I asked my doctor if I could still get in the woods for deer season on Oct. 1," he said with a grin. "I haven't missed an opening day in 11 years."

The second goal is the more important one, though.

"I'll live the rest of my life trying to pay all these people back and serve others the way these people have served me."

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  • My thoughts and prayers to you and your family for your speedy recovery.

    -- Posted by Lookout on Mon, Aug 22, 2011, at 9:31 AM
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