By Abby Spegman / SentinelSource.com
Donor, recipient gaining each day
Nearly two months after a kidney transplant, Kevin E. Moody and his donor, Robert W. Emberley, are back to work and regaining their strength.
“It’s gone very smoothly,” Moody said this week of the surgery and recovery process.
“According to the doctor, the kidney is doing great. It’s just getting my strength and stamina back,” he said.
Moody, 56, was hospitalized last year with high blood pressure, enough to damage his kidneys. He started dialysis in May and was told he would need a new kidney. Emberley, 48, volunteered to be the donor.
Moody is the president and administrator at Dublin Christian Academy, and Emberley was the pastor at Mountain View Bible Church, which meets on the school’s campus, and was on the school’s administrative team.
Emberley left Dublin about three years ago and is now the pastor at the Community Bible Church in Northfield, Mass. He is also a regular substitute teacher at Fuller School in Keene.
The Aug. 1 surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon went as planned. Moody was released three days later, but had to return frequently for follow-up visits.
“Initially I was going twice a week, then once a week, then every other week,” he said.
Now he is down to just once a month, then every three months, then six months. “That’s a big deal, getting to once a month,” he said.
Moody is on more than a dozen prescriptions, including anti-rejection medication with side effects that cause him some pain.
As Moody’s family was dealing with his recovery, his wife, Ruth Ann, was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. She had gone for a routine mammogram, and the couple received the call that it was cancer while in a hospital waiting room before one of Moody’s follow-ups.
Ruth Ann Moody had surgery Sept. 1 — a month after her husband — and is undergoing radiation. She is back to work teaching science at Dublin Christian Academy.
The family has tried to stay positive through both ordeals. “We’ve made quite a pair here,” Moody said.
In Northfield, Emberley said he is also getting back to normal. It was a few weeks before he could return to work, which was frustrating, he said.
“They say two to six weeks (for recovery). You hear two, not six,” he said with a laugh.
But now he is out raking leaves and jogging 2 miles a day, hoping to be ready for a half marathon in the spring.
“I was a really high-energy person before, so it was new to me to be off my feet,” he said. “I wasn’t ready for the feeling. It’s not easy taking it easy.”
Still, Emberley said he is glad for the experience and would do it again, if he could.
“You don’t have to give a kidney to be a donor of good things, to make someone’s life better. You have an opportunity to do that every day.”