Father and daughter recovering after kidney transplant

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

For a while, Ronnie Boone just figured that his daughter Lateisha was just naturally unenergetic.

&uot;She was always laid back, especially in her teenage years,&uot; Boone said of his little girl, now a student at Lakeland High School. &uot;I guess I just thought she was kind of lazy!&uot;

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To an extent, she was. A trip to the doctor, however, found that Lateisha’s sluggishness wasn’t by choice, as what was supposed to be a routine checkup turned into something much more serious. The doctors found that she’d been born with a dysfunctional kidney (contributing to the lack of energy) and that she needed a transplant – soon.

&uot;I thought, ‘What can I do?’&uot; Boone recalls. &uot;Here I am, a pastor (at the Missouri Baptist Church), a man of prayer. The first thing I did was pray for her total recovery. I was glad the Lord was in me.&uot; Soon, a part of him (and Him) would be in Lateisha.

Blood tests quickly showed that Boone’s blood was a perfect match for his daughter, but it was the beginning of a long journey. &uot;They made sure that EVERYTHING matched,&uot; he says. &uot;They tested all my organs, everything.&uot; Fortunately, he was found to be a suitable donor – almost.

&uot;They had one more test to do, back in August,&uot; Boone said. &uot;They were checking me out, and found that I had a kidney stone. They wouldn’t have even had to worry about it if I weren’t about to be a donor.&uot; The transplant was pushed back, and Lateisha had to go on dialysis three times a week. Boone had to undergo more blood, tissue and stress tests, as well as an EKG.

&uot;I was trying to figure out what God was telling me,&uot; Boone said. &uot;What hurt me most wasn’t the stone, but knowing that she had to be on dialysis.&uot;

Finally, on Nov. 10, he headed to Norfolk General to have the organ removed. Lateisha was over at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD).

&uot;I wasn’t really scared, just excited to get it over with,&uot; she says. &uot;There was a lot of waiting and counting down the days. I prayed some with my family, and they told me that they loved me and that everything was going to be all right.&uot;

Boone doesn’t remember much about the procedure. &uot;When you go under the knife, you don’t know what’s happening,&uot; he says. &uot;But it all went well.&uot; Five hours later, his kidney was on its way to CHKD.

When she woke up, says Lateisha, &uot;I was really tired, but I wasn’t in too much pain at first. I got sick right afterward, but I was OK pretty soon.&uot;

So was her dad. &uot;I felt like the knife was still in me,&uot; he says. &uot;It was tough. But everyday, it got a lot better.&uot;

His friends at the church were all too eager to help the pair on their trip back to health. &uot;They were wonderful,&uot; Boone says. &uot;We were wondering what we were going to eat on Thanksgiving, and they cooked us a complete dinner and brought it over. It was a complete surprise.&uot;

Neither is completely back to health; Lateisha’s homebound from school until next year, and Boone, as he puts it, has been feeling, &uot;up and down. I’ll feel good one day, and the next I won’t want to do anything.&uot; But the true potency increase has been in their relationship. &uot;(It’s always been) pretty strong,&uot; Lateisha says, &uot;but this made us even stronger.&uot;

&uot;This was God’s purpose for my life,&uot; Boone says. &uot;Our relationship has been strengthening ever since.&uot;