Myerses and Strehlows through CCSA.
When he heard that his friend Marti
was donating a kidney to his friend
John, he cried—and wondered what he
could do to help. A frequent traveler, he’s
accumulated hundreds of thousands of
airline miles, which he was thinking of
cashing in to take his family to Paris.
Instead, he bought round-trip flights for
the Strehlows and one of Marti’s friends
for the surgery.
Strehlow flew in with her husband the
weekend before the second scheduled
surgery—her friend was going to fly in
the following week—and the Myerses
took them to the museums in downtown
D.C. ;e resident of Wausau (
population around 40,000) had never been to
the Washington area. “I was more nervous about being out in D.C. than the
actual kidney part,” she says.
Steve Prichett owned Chesapeake
Ceramics in Baltimore at the time. He
calls John “the sweetest, most caring
person in the world.”
“I had elementary school-age kids at
the time, and they would raise money
for Habitat for Humanity,” Prichett says.
“I’d bring the box into the shop, and John
always put in bills—not change,” he says.
“My kids would be thrilled.” When he
learned that the transplant date had been
set, Prichett reserved an Airbnb for the
Strehlows in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon
neighborhood, near Johns Hopkins.
;e morning of the surgery, Myers
had a persistent cough that concerned
his doctors enough that they contemplated postponing again. But after
determining it was “nothing a healthy
kidney couldn’t clear up,” Myers recalls
a doctor saying, the transplant started.
After removing Strehlow’s kidney,
doctors inserted the organ, roughly the
size of a fist, into Myers’ lower abdo-
men while leaving the nonfunctioning
kidneys in place. (;at’s standard proce-
dure.) It was sewn to blood vessels that
are easy for surgeons to access, and con-
nected to his bladder.
Myers awoke around 5 p.m. in the
intensive care unit. His body held one
healthy kidney—“my woman part,” he
jokes—and he wasn’t coughing anymore.
“I felt fantastic,” he says, his face lighting
up. “Of course, there were a lot of drugs
Strehlow’s initial post-surgery memory
is not as pleasant. “We found out that I’m
allergic to almost all pain meds,” she says.
“Nobody knew that before. ;ey don’t
want you throwing up, so they give you
anti-nausea stu;. ;en they gave me
more pain meds, so I was throwing up
again. I’m only a Tylenol girl now.”
;e next morning, she managed to
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