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November 21, 2012

Being Thankful: A mother’s life

Woman is thankful for organ donor who made family holidays possible.

LOGANSPORT — Two years ago, Sandy Oravsky, Logansport, received a phone call delivering news that saved her life.

Oravsky got a call from a hospital at 11 p.m. Dec. 19, 2010, saying she might have a kidney organ donor. She stayed awake for several hours waiting to hear news of the organ.

Kristen Williamson knows her mother wouldn’t be living today if it wasn’t for an organ donor.

Oravsky, Williamson’s mother, was diagnosed with a kidney disease, Focal Sclerosis, in 1999. Oravsky lived with the disease and was on dialysis for nearly five years because her kidney function was low, Williamson said.

“My mother was convinced God had another plan for her,” Williamson said. “She decided she was going to teach others to live with hard times through God.”

Two years ago, Oravsky was notified a kidney was available.

“They called to ask me if I wanted the kidney,” Oravsky said, laughing. “I said of course.”

At first, Oravsky was told the kidney was not doing well and she would have to wait to hear from them. She waited, awake, until she received a phone call at 5 a.m. Dec. 20 that brought her in for surgery.

Williamson, who has three children and two stepchildren, remembers being worried her mother wouldn’t be home to celebrate Christmas.

Oravsky had surgery on Dec. 20 and was only in the hospital until Christmas Eve.

Williamson said there is no doubt in her mind, and the doctor’s mind, her mother wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for people willing to donate organs.

“I wrote a letter to the hospital to give to the family that donated a kidney,” Oravsky said. “It’s hard to take because although I gained a life, they lost it.”

Oravsky said it changed her life and being a donor is such a wonderful sacrifice she will never forget. Her daughter has noticed physical changes, too.

“Her worst days now are better than her good days then,” Williamson said.

Williamson said she was also thankful for her husband, John Williamson, who worked and took care of finances so she could be with her mother and help with the dialysis.

Oravsky described dialysis as draining and said she received it three times a week, for four hours at a time, during her five years on it.

Her church, New Life Alliance in Logansport, and faith were the things that got Oravsky through her sickness.

“She never said ‘why me,’” Williamson said. “She doesn’t realize the number of people she touched by going through her sickness.”

Williamson describe her mother as a positive, determined woman who wasn’t going to let her sickness keep her down.

Oravsky inspired people with her faith despite the trying times.

Williamson said she always thought she would be a donor on her driver’s license, but hadn’t truly thought what it meant until her mother received a donated organ.

“It’s a sacrifice I will forever be grateful for,” Williamson said. “I now know how important it is to be an organ donor.”

Amie Sites is a reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5150 or amie.sites@pharostribune.com.

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