Reah Lee is one active lady. She recently put in her 6,000th hour of volunteer service at the Heinzerling Foundation in Columbus, caring for handicapped children. She drives 20 miles each way from her home in Ashville, Ohio, to put in 40 hours per week there.
For that, she gives credit to the donated kidney she received 11 years ago at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Transplant Center.
Lee was forced into retirement by kidney failure caused by hypertension in 1995. She spent the next year and a half on dialysis, until August 10, 1997. Lee says she got a telephone call at 1 a.m. that a donated kidney was waiting for her, and they asked that she be at the Medical Center by 2 a.m.
The Comprehensive Transplant Center performs some 250 kidney transplants every year, but for each patient, it is a new and scary experience. Lee's physicians at the Medical Center call Lee their "number one patient" because she had such a good attitude and so few complications.
"One of my sisters and an in-law prayed for me to have no pain, and I didn't, none whatsoever. The doctors kept asking me if I needed pain medication, and I said, 'No, honey, if I don't have any pain, why should I take anything?' I never had the first ounce," she says.
"I'd recommend them above all, they were so good to me. Anything I needed or they thought I needed, I got," says Lee of her experience at Ohio State’s Medical Center.
Lee says a sister would gladly have given her a kidney, but she didn't prove to be a match. Lee is extremely grateful to the family whose loved one lost his kidney giving Lee and others a second chance.
"I pray for them every day. I'd like them to know I'm caring for their loved one's kidney and I appreciate it so much," she says.