John Covell's Kidney Transplant

$4,730 of $19,000 goal

Raised by 42 people in 7 months
Created June 19, 2018
Kim Bowman Obert
on behalf of John Covell
Exciting News for John and Joy Covell!
John will be receiving a kidney from his daughter, Amanda Covell on June 20th at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco!

We celebrate God’s goodness with providing a near perfect match for a kidney through Amanda. And we celebrate God’s provision of a hospital and team (through his niece in Modesto, CA), that will do the transplant!

John’s Story:
Go here ( https://vimeo.com/268535431 ) for a video of John sharing his story in the context of a sermon he delivered to Desert Springs Bible Church on May 6, 2018.

In John’s Words:

In June of 2016 I went for what I thought was a fairly routine visit to my Dr. He listened to my lungs and performed a few other simple tests and sent me to the ER. At the ER they did some blood tests and determined that I had “almost zero kidney function” and that I was to be admitted immediately. This began my first hospital stay of the year, lasting about two weeks.

Two weeks after that first discharge I was re-admitted for what turned out to be a mysterious infectious blood disease. During the next three weeks I was very seriously ill, spending several days in the ICU. Terms like MRSA and sepsis were being considered as the doctors tried many different types and combinations of antibiotics and blood transfusions to rid my body of the infection.

I was eventually discharged and continued receiving antibiotics during each of my dialysis treatments until they determined that the infection had finally been beaten. I was moving forward in my “new normal” which included three 3.5 hour dialysis treatments each week.

During the Fall and Winter of 2016 I began developing sever pain in my back, radiating from my spine outward. I began the ritual of seeing various doctors and was in and out of the Barrow Brain and Spine Center until one of their surgeons determined that the infection I had earlier in the year had made its way into several of my vertebrae, creating a condition called vertebral osteomyelitis. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertebral_osteomyelitis ). The treatment for this was the insertion of two titanium rods attached to my vertebrae in 15 places. Additionally, I has 13 months of physical therapy to regain some of the strength and physical abilities I lost through these challenges. The photos below show my x-ray after the spinal surgery and the accompanying incision.”


Here we are – two years later and the miracle of medical transplant is before us.

We need two things from you, dear friends:
First and foremost, we need PRAYER, starting now and going beyond the transplant date. Here is how you can pray:
1. THANK GOD for His sweet provision of:
a. Air miles for travel for John, Amanda and Joy
b. Hotel points for this week

2. Pray for John’s health, that he will stay healthy and strong for the transplant procedure

3. Pray that his body will accept (not reject) the donated kidney – and that God will pour life into the kidney once it is attached to John’s body!

4. Pray for John’s daughter, Amanda – the “Donor”:
a. That she remain healthy and strong for the procedure
b. That she is blessed with a fast recovery
c. Protection against any future issues that would affect her remaining kidney

5. The transplant team - The transplant procedures begin at 6:00 am on Wednesday, June 20th:
a. God’s wisdom and skill during the procedure

6. Hospital administrative teams:
a. If they don’t know Jesus, they would be blessed by His grace through Joy, John and Amanda.
John’s previous hospital stays afforded multiple opportunities to share his spiritual perspective and for the medical staff to see the Body of Christ in action!
b. All administrative (insurance) issues be resolved easily and with grace and mercy (patience).

7. Hospital medical care team:
a. All would see God’s grace, mercy and love through Joy, John and Amanda
b. Nurses would be well rested, sharp and on alert for any issues that may arise

8. Pray for Joy:
a. For her health and energy throughout the process
b. For peace – the kind that God gives – as both her husband and daughter have surgery
c. Free her from worry over medical and financial issues
d. That God would use the experience to show others His Light

Secondly, as many of you have graciously offered to help financially, we would appreciate your support in this area too.

As the transplant is taking place in San Francisco, that means additional expenses on top of the already overwhelming costs of the pre-operative, the procedure, and the post-operative. We need support to help cover:

1. Existing balance of medical $12,000

2. Travel for John back and forth to San Francisco for follow up appointments

3. Anti-rejection drugs (monthly costs not yet known)

4. Transplant costs – not yet known

John will require anti-rejection medicine for the remainder of his life. The first several months will require taking up wards of 20 different medications daily, with the expectation of gradual reduction as his body accepts Amanda’s kidney. The initial price tag for these is in the tens of thousands per month, most of which should be covered by insurance. However, there are limits. Best-case scenario would be for these meds to begin dropping down after the first three months. But we can’t predict that at this point.

It is difficult to determine the total medical cost for the transplant, and we are trusting for God’s provision for financial support in this area. Joy and John have incurred medical expenses over the past two years that have reached a staggering total.

Your gift would help bring sweet relief to Joy and John.


Yours in His Love,
Joy and John's Family
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Update 5
Posted by Kim Bowman Obert
6 months ago
I am pleased to say that both Amanda and John have been medically released! Amanda is taking a few days with friends to enjoy the city. Joy flew to San Fran this morning to pick John up. Their plane landed in Phoenix at 2:37pm - Saturday 7/7. As I write this, Joy and John are on their way home.

So much love, so much hope - so many prayers answered!

I'm asking John and Joy to give the next update - as I'm sure they will want to update you directly.

Thank you, thank you, thank you - for your prayers, for your gifts and your encouraging messages.
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Update 4
Posted by Kim Bowman Obert
6 months ago
Well, here we are again. John's platelets were down again since last night. He won't be released today, which means another night at the hotel for Joy and Amanda. Because the hotel is full, they keep raising the rate.

We covet your prayers! We thank you for your prayers! And we ask you to continue praying. Here are some specifics for your review.

Would you be willing to pick 2 or 3 items to pray about several times today?

For John:
Continued health for the kidney
Positive response to the platelet treatment and for his platelet count to rise and stabilize.

For the Medical Team:
Clarity on what is causing the drop in platelets
Wisdom to know when John is healthy and ready to be released (as much as we want him released from the hospital - we DON'T want to have him return).

For Amanda:
Continued recovery and strength

For Joy:
Strength, good rest, and protection from germs!
Patience in dealing with the insurance companies

On the financial side:
Please pray for favor with the insurance companies and for the majority of anti-rejection drugs to be covered; and for the majority of the transplant and all related visits to be covered.

As always, we so appreciate your love and support!
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Update 3
Posted by Kim Bowman Obert
6 months ago
The photos below are from Friday. We really thought John and Amanda were going to be released on Saturday. Amanda was released and is staying in the hotel with Joy. John was not released because his platelets are low. This could be due to medication. They are monitoring it and have said that he will be in hospital at least through Tuesday.
We covet your prayers and ask for more:
Please pray for John's platelets to go UP UP UP! They are currently around 18,000 and should be around 150,000. Pray that the medical staff can isolate the problem and make the necessary corrections.
Please pray for Amanda's continued recovery - and patience!
Please pray for Joy. She is wearing down a bit and is running back and forth between the hospital and the hotel to care for both John and Amanda.
Pray that Joy has favor with the insurance companies and that things will be sorted out quickly.
Also, please pray for John's peace of mind as he is concerned about the burden that Joy is carrying.
Please pray that John is able to focus his energy and efforts on getting well and healing.
Thank you for your love and support. It means so much!
Joy's sister, Kim
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Update 2
Posted by Kim Bowman Obert
7 months ago
Hi - this is Kim, Joy's sister. Just spoke with Joy and everything is going GREAT! Both John and Amanda will be released from the hospital TOMORROW - Saturday!! This is at least a few days earlier than they were expecting.
Both John and Amanda have been up and walking around and the doctors are very pleased with their progress.
Joy sounds happy, but tired. It's been a lot to have both of them in the hospital at the same time. She has been dividing her time between each of them, and trying to be there when the doctors were there so she could hear the updates.
Also, she has been spending A LOT of time on the phone dealing with the insurance companies and trying to get info on the anti-rejection drugs, etc. This tends to stress her out and although her faith in God's provision is solid and sound, the financial burden is always just right there.
Your support and love mean so much to ALL of THEM! Thank you for the blessing of your friendship and love!
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$4,730 of $19,000 goal

Raised by 42 people in 7 months
Created June 19, 2018
Kim Bowman Obert
on behalf of John Covell
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