My wife and I were living in Lexington, KY and she was pregnant with our first son. On one of her ultrasounds, the doctor noticed his left kidney was enlarged. He was born 2-2-95 and the doctors didn’t wait long before they scheduled him for some tests. I don’t remember exactly how old he was for the first test but I’m guessing he was around 1 year old. They had us place him under a scope then inject his IV with dye (my wife did his IV since she is a nurse).
After a few minutes he was given a diuretic to force his kidneys to empty fairly quickly then they would compare the time it took each kidney to do so. His left one was definitely blocked. The small tube (ureter) that leads from the kidney to his bladder was narrowed. We went in several times and the results were always the same.
The urologist spoke with us after one of the tests and said he recommended surgery. He said they needed to cut out the narrowed section and reattach the ureter to the kidney. We didn’t want Samuel to go through it because at that time he wasn’t experiencing any complications but on the other hand, the doctor explained the surgery would be worse if we were to put it off.
The day of the surgery was when it really hit me; seeing him being wheeled down the hallway in the little red wagon the OR nurses were pulling him in was almost so frightening to me that I could hardly breathe. We had many friends and family there with us, but I felt so helpless for him. We also had several friends from our church there. If possible, I would have traded positions with him in an instant.
He came out of surgery fine and the nurses and doctors said he did great. He recovered well over the next several weeks then it was time for another dye test. It was a shock to us what we saw during that test. Samuel’s kidney remained enlarged, and the ureter was still narrow leading to his bladder! How could this be?
The doctor said sometimes that happens when the ureter that was cut and shortened develops another block due to its being stretched. We had prayed several times with this doctor, and we trusted him. Even after this latest result. Over the next couple of months, we continued with the tests, but the problem never got better.
One day the doctor said Samuel would need to another surgery to try and open the ureter some more. What else could we do? The doctor said he could eventually develop bad kidney infections and possibly need surgery to remove it.
We agreed for the second surgery, but I never felt right about it. I never told my wife, but I had several nightmares about it. I was being told in my dreams that he didn’t make it through surgery, and I would wake up feeling as though I was going to collapse.
I wanted to remain strong especially for my wife because we didn’t feel there were any other options for him. We had Samuel put on the church’s prayer list before his surgery. My parents did the same at their church. My mother-in-law put him on the prayer list at her church. I had a close friend I worked with pray with me many times. Despite all this I still remained uneasy about the surgery. We had one more dye test to put him through.
This last dye test was scheduled about 2 days before surgery and was to help the doctors confirm the narrowed section and for them to get an idea of the size of the kidney. The nurses doing the procedure had come to know us pretty well and were sorry to know he needed the second surgery. When the dye was injected, I no longer studied to screen to watch the kidney fill then empty. My focus was more on Samuel and his comfort level.
I had gotten to the point where I knew what to expect and didn’t want to see it on the computer screen. I looked at the nurse and noticed a puzzled expression. Then I saw the monitor. Both kidneys were emptying at the same rate! The nurse did some troubleshooting thinking something was wrong with the setup but eventually shook her head and said his ureter appeared normal. The doctor was called, and he could not explain what happened. We took him in for one more dye test several days later, and it was again normal.
Samuel is now 12, has 4 younger brothers, 1 sister, and is doing excellent. We don’t go in for dye tests and other than his small scar, you’d never know he ever had a problem. I am convinced it was the work of God and evidence for the tremendous power of prayer!