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A Honeymoon to Remember!
Dedicated to James & Stacey Helmbrecht
Submitted by Terry
A Honeymoon to Remember!
My son Jim and our wonderful daughter (in-law) Stacey fell in love while they were in college. They became engaged in July, 1997 and planned a June, 1998 wedding. Stacey had known from age 11 that she had a kidney disease. She also knew that at some point in her life she would face a transplant. Jim and Stacey went to the doctor together faithfully, keeping up with Stacey's progress, so that they both were well aware of the extent of Stacey's condition. The doctors told her that it would be a long time before a transplant was necessary.
And so the wedding plans began! The wedding in Dallas: the church, the flowers, the food, the wedding party, the honeymoon plans to the place of their choiceˇHawaii. But as luck would have it, by February, 1998, Stacey began having kidney problems. By early March, it was determined that the kidney transplant must be done. Stacey was very lucky that her Mom was a perfect match and she was willing to give up one of her kidneys. The surgery was a success and everyone recovered wonderfully. Jim and Stacey had decided to move the wedding date to August, 1998, giving Stacey plenty of time to fully recover before their Hawaiian honeymoon vacation.
As the time drew closer to the big day, Stacey began to feel more and more fatigued and her monthly blood work started showing signs of a problem. The long flight and worry of being so far from her transplant medical unit (Galveston, Texas) had Jim and Stacey dropping their Hawaiian trip entirely.
The morning before the wedding, a member of the medical team called Stacey and said that her latest tests showed that she was in "acute kidney rejection" and she must return to the hospital immediately. After much discussion, they allowed Stacey to stay in Dallas for the night so that she could be married the next day. However, they would have to leave immediately after the wedding (they did have some time to greet their friends and relatives in the church fellowship hall for a mini reception) and go directly to Galveston so that Stacey could be admitted as soon as possible. Goodbye Hawaiian Honeymoon!
Stacey and Jim spent the next two weeks in a tiny hospital room with a "JUST MARRIED" sign on the door! It brought tears to our eyes! After a few days, it became obvious that none of the drugs of choice were working. The medical team decided to try an experimental drug, which had the potential to be life threatening. Needless to say, Jim and Stacey were both scared to death and riddled with fear and worry. THIS WAS NO HONEYMOON!
The last drug did finally work and to this day, Stacey has continued to lead a close to normal life. However, Jim and Stacey have never had that honeymoon. How wonderful it would be for them to finally have their dream Hawaiian Honeymoon!