I have always believed this day would come, and here I am writing again. Allow me to share a wonderful story that exemplifies selflessness, compassion, faith, hope and mercy.
It has been over a month since my kidney transplant procedure. That momentous day of July 11, 2017, I knew that my quality of life improved overnight, and I felt good. I opened my eyes and I thanked the Lord that I was given a second life, another chance to serve Him and others.
I was on dialysis for five years before I met my kidney donor. I had thrice-a-week sessions at St. Luke’s Global City. Dialysis ruled my week.
It is worth noting that dialysis patients also have cravings for certain food. There was this time I wanted pineapple juice, and so my aide quickly went out to get it for me at the shop next to the hospital, only to find out it was a membership type of store. So he walked out without pineapple juice, still in utmost disbelief.
He then met a man named Marjhon walking on the street, asking help to find a job. My aide quickly responded, somehow unrelated to his plea, “May patient ako diyan na nagda-dialysis…” In a heartbeat, Marjhon said, “Willing ako magbigay ng isang kidney, lalo na pari ang bibigyan ko.”
Would you believe that he didn’t ask anything in return? He simply wanted to give.
Silence and strength
In Pope Francis’ visit to the country in January 2015, he spoke of his devotion to St. Joseph, his great love for Jesus’ foster father, a man of silence and strength. Pope Francis added that he has a statuette of St. Joseph sleeping on his table—that even when he’s asleep, he is taking care of the Church.
I followed his advice to leave a note under the image of the saint whenever I am faced with a problem. This way, even in my moment of rest in the Lord, he speaks to me. I did the same thing when I was on dialysis, and was advised by my new doctor to get a kidney transplant. I continued my dialysis sessions at Cardinal Santos Medical Center in Greenhills, San Juan, to prepare for the kidney transplant procedure.
Marjhon is a humble and kind man who hails from General Santos City in Mindanao. He came to Manila to find a carpentry job. Who would have thought our paths would cross in the most serendipitous way? Like St. Joseph, he is a carpenter and man of few words. His smile and demeanor expressed more than he had to say. He was tested for compatibility to donate a kidney to me.
One test, one giving tree in the form of Marjhon, was all it took for me to see that glimmer of hope that God intended for me.
Happiness and peace in life can be attained and can reside in altruism, selflessness and compassion. Marjhon, probably with little awareness, selflessly gave me one of his kidneys as an act of mercy and compassion. His inner generosity is fearless.
God gave me a great team of doctors and nurses to deliver his plan. I remember hearing before the procedure that the donor kidney has been “harvested.” In my heart, I believed these significant people God sent to me were put together to harvest hope more than anything else.
In all the years I have preached the Word of God, the countless miracles in the Bible, the thought that I am part of a miracle leaves me gratefully speechless. It’s incredible that someone I didn’t know would go through this in complete selflessness and kindness.
Marjhon gave me a part of himself so that I could continue on with life. God has a plan for all of us, whether or not we understand it. —CONTRIBUTED