After two and a half years of waiting, Jason Timmerman recently received the call of his life.
Mr. Timmerman had been on a waiting list for a double organ transplant. Tuesday, Aug. 16 at 9 a.m., he was called to come to the Medical College of Georgia for a possible transplant. At 4 p.m. he was told the organs were a match, and at 4:30 he was in the operating room.
"I was sort of in a state of shock," Mr. Timmerman said after the surgery. "You know you're at the top of the list and you're going to get called any minute. But when it actually happens you just kind of sit there and look off in the distance and wonder what the heck is about to happen. Even though they tell you what to expect, you still don't know what to expect really."
Nine hours later, Mr. Timmerman had both a new pancreas and a new kidney. Mr. Timmerman suffers from diabetes, which caused kidney failure resulting in dialysis. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by insufficient insulin. Insulin is a hormone secreted by cells in the pancreas to control the transport of glucose from the bloodstream into cells.
"So far everything is going as well as can be expected, the doctors are pleased with everything, my kidney and pancreas function are both up to par and even beyond what is expected," Mr. Timmerman said in a phone interview Tuesday. "They've made comments that somebody who's had major surgery like I did shouldn't look as good as I do."
Mr. Timmerman is expecting to go home this weekend, barring any further complications. Even though his new organs are working better than expected, Mr. Timmerman will remain on medications for the rest of his life.
His friends and family have a fundraiser drive to help offset the costs of his medications. The Georgia Transplant Foundation will match all donations up to $10,000 in the next year. Kathleen Usry, chairman of Mr. Timmerman's fundraising, said cans are placed on counters at local stores for shoppers to donate their change. On October 1, a yard sale will be held at the Watson House on Augusta Highway.
"I take probably 17-20 pills every day. That will decrease some as time goes on. One pill I'll be on for the rest of my life is $1,500 per month. It's an expensive thing, so every little bit helps," Mr. Timmerman said.
Donations may be taken directly to the Regions Bank in Thomson, and deposited in the Jason B. Timmerman Transplant Fund. For information on the yard sale, and other fundraising events, call Ms. Usry at 595-6659 or Sidney Campbell at 595-5382.
Both of the organs Mr. Timmerman received were donated by the parents of a 15-year-old who died in a car accident.
"We just feel real, real blessed," said Ann Timmerman, Mr. Timmerman's mother.