LAUREL HILL — Many couples say theirs is a “match made in heaven.” There’s no doubt in Andrew and Jessica Twitty’s minds that God matched them up — heart, soul and now, a kidney.
Jessica was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease five years ago. Four years later she started dialysis.
At the University of Florida Health Shands Hospital, she was placed on the kidney transplant list, facing a potential wait as long as five years unless a donor could be found just for her.
“They have about 120,000 patients waiting for organ transplants today,” Jessica said. “It is shocking how the numbers keep rising.”
Soon it looked like her brother would be a perfect match.
“It turned out he wasn’t,” Jessica said. “It turned out Andrew was a match. He was shocked, but was glad he turned out to be the donor.”
Andrew’s tests will be complete this week. Soon Jessica can end her daily home dialysis, which their children, Neal, 11, and Hannah, 9, take in stride.
“It becomes a basic routine every day of your life,” Jessica said. “It makes it very adjustable for your children when you can do it at home and work it around their schedule.”
Having family members nearby has been a big help, she said.
“It has been a wonderful blessing to have family around to help and help manage things and be very supportive of what we’re going through,” Jessica said.
But above all, it is their faith that sustains the family. For Hannah, learning her dad was giving her mom one of his kidneys was no big surprise. She already knew.
“What amazed us was, when we were going through the process, Hannah said her dad was going to be the match because Jesus had told her,” Jessica said. “It was amazing to us that this little girl had more confidence than Mommy and Daddy, whose nerves were wracked.”
There’s a good reason, the family’s pastor at Hopewell United Methodist Church, told them.
“Sometimes God will talk to little kids and they’ll listen more than adults do,” Jessica said. “Like Andrew said, it’s kind of funny how God works sometimes. We don’t understand them, but he has his ways.”