Harmony teen undergoes successful kidney transplant surgery days after benefit
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 1:09 PM
“It’s been an incredible week for Kirsten and all of us. First, the way the entire community turned out for the benefit and then, less then a week later, a donor is found and Kirsten’s surgery is a success. God certainly works in mysterious and wonderful ways,” said Kathie Mock of Harmony.
Kirsten is the 17-year-old daughter of Clay and Kathie Mock who was born with many complex health issues, including only one kidney, and that was severely damaged.
During the course of Kirsten’s young life, she has endured more than 30 surgeries, including a kidney transplant when she was 7 years old. The kidney she received from her father enabled her to live a more normal life, without having to be hooked up to a dialysis machine for about 10 years.
Unfortunately, that kidney failed and was only functioning at about 10 percent of what it should. Kirsten was back on the dialysis machine, making three trips weekly to Saint Marys in Rochester and looking for a kidney donor.
That all changed this past week.
“We got a call from Mayo at 1 a.m. Thursday,” Kathie noted. “I knew it had to be something important for Mayo to call at that hour. They told us to get Kirsten up to Rochester right away. A kidney was found and it was a perfect match.”
Clay and Kathie had their daughter to Rochester as quickly as they could and she was in the operating room by 6 p.m. Thursday. The failing kidney was removed first and the transplant was completed by 3 a.m. Friday morning.
“The surgeons said everything went very well. They said the kidney was a perfect match,” Kathie added.
So far, Kirsten’s recovery has been very positive. She was up out of bed, walking around by Sunday and plans are for her to be transferred to the Ronald McDonald House by Tuesday or Wednesday of this week.
“She will have to be at the Ronald McDonald House for one to four weeks, depending on how fast the recovery is,” Kathie reported. “We have to remain close to Mayo these first few weeks of the recovery.”
Once Kirsten returns to Harmony, the convalescence will take some time. Returning to school for the last three or four weeks probably won’t be in the plans. But Kathie will be contacting Fillmore Central High School to see about possible tutoring. “We’ve got to have her keep up with her advanced math,” she said.
The Mock family moved from Ellensburg, Wash., to Harmony about 10 years ago. They wanted to be close to the Mayo Clinic, which could provide the special care Kirsten needed.
In an earlier interview, when commenting about the upcoming benefit, Kathie said, “Harmony is such a wonderful place to live. It’s a very loving community. The people are so kind and friendly and ready to help each other out.”
The Kidney for Kirsten Awareness Benefit was held at the Harmony Community Center, on Friday, March 30, just six days before Kirsten’s transplant. Hundreds of people turned out for the meal, bake sale, silent auction, raffle and a performance by The Danger Committee. The Danger Committee is a world-renown trio of knife throwing and fire juggling comedians that received rave reviews from those attending the event.
The Mocks wanted to thank the entire community for the amazing support extended to Kirsten and their family. Kathie said the community benefit was just wonderful. It’s certainly one more reason to love living in a small town.