Ind. couple both waiting for kidney transplants

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Looking back, 49-year-old Lisa Keck said she realizes that in former years — when she was well — she took for granted many things, including the picturesque view outside her kitchen window in Darmstadt, Ind.

Now that she is on kidney dialysis three times a week and is often tired and exasperated waiting for a kidney transplant, the natural scenery behind her house is a welcome godsend. It includes a lake and woods, which sits on property owned by Keck's father-in-law and mother-in-law, Don and Alice Keck.

"I am grateful for the nice view," Lisa Keck told the Evansville Courier & Press (http://bit.ly/WOB0GW ).

"Oh, my Lord, it's peaceful. I used to be able to walk around the lake, but now I enjoy it mostly from through my window. It's where I like to pray. It's very serene and calming and beautiful."

Deer and squirrels frequent the setting as do wild turkeys.

"Kerry counted 28 wild turkeys in the field the other day," Lisa Keck said about her 51-year-old husband, who also needs a kidney transplant.

"When the weather is warm enough, I'll put on a big, old jacket and sit outdoors by our garage and let Daisy (her beagle dog) out ... and I study the woods.

"Sometimes I can hear golfers (on nearby Clearcrest Pines golf course) yelling 'Fore.'"

After three serious potential kidney donors were disqualified since last March, Keck now has a donor who is a match.

The transplant surgery at the Indiana University Health Hospital /IU Transplant Center in Indianapolis is on hold, however, until an insurance glitch — with which she has had to contend atop everything else — is resolved.

Keck applied for medical coverage with the Indiana Comprehensive Insurance Association, after losing her previous insurer, Welborn Health Plans which recently excited the group health insurance market.

The process of getting insured with Indiana Comprehensive is cumbersome.

It has involved a long laundry list of issues for Keck. But now, once the insurance company receives a premium check for Keck's coverage from the American Kidney Foundation — which is paying for it in her behalf — the transplant is expected to finally happen.

It's been mainly a timing issue, said Keck.

Welborn didn't send out release letters to its clients until the end of last year and that has delayed her getting reinsured, she said.

Keck said urgent attention is being given to the premium check.

Kathy Carnes, a registered nurse and transplant coordinator at the IU Transplant Center, said the latest potential donor has agreed to wait.

When asked what, besides the scenery outside her home makes a good day for her, Keck said, "Just sitting by the fireplace and watching IU basketball games or watching one of our kids' favorite programs on TV ... little things that now are so important."

"Just to feel good makes a good day. Some days, I just don't feel good," Keck said.

Getting a good doctor's report makes the day for Kerry.

Like Lisa, he has diabetes. He isn't on a potential kidney recipients' list yet.

"He just got a good report that his dialysis numbers are good, meaning he gets to try dialyzing at home four times a day rather than five times a day.

"That's big (news) for him. For him, that's a great day," Lisa Keck said.

Speaking by phone with friends and relatives and also knowing through Facebook postings that many people are praying for them also helps, she said.

"We know there are people out there who really care.

"My best friend, Cynthia Huff of Newburgh, calls on average four times a week to see how we're doing. She's taken me to Louisville for medical tests ... We're best buddies."

When Lisa Keck feels well enough, she enjoys attending school events involving daughter Jessie, 16, a Central High School junior.

Keck looks forward to the return of Jessie's volleyball and track events this school year.

The Kecks' son, Eaton, 21, works for his grandfather's' Don Keck Construction Co. Inc.

Like most proud parents, Lisa likes to brag about her two kids:"Some people incorrectly think our 'Jessie' is short for 'Jessica,' but that isn't the case. Jessica is considered by our Jessie to be 'a prissy name.' Jessie is a very well-rounded girl. She can dress up and look like a million bucks; she wears no makeup but is a natural beauty. On the other hand, she can ride four-wheelers with the boys, get totally muddy and does not care. She helps her grandpa (Don Keck) cut firewood. And, she knows how to change oil in our truck.

"Easton is very kind and thoughtful. He might build me a fire in our fireplace when I return from (clinical) dialysis. Lots of times he goes to the grocery store with me, and he helps me when I go to Target. He's a good helper."

Sometimes Lisa Keck's mother, Jennie Hill of Darmstadt, gives her money to eat out. The occasions give Keck one-on-one time with her kids.

"It's nothing elaborate. We may go to McDonald's or GD Ritzy's. We just enjoy having that time," Keck said.

"After you get seriously sick, you think more deeply about everything."

Despite her illness, however, she said she really doesn't look on death as something that may be imminent for her.

"I might outlive a person who is perfectly healthy. Who knows?

"If I would pass, it would be a win-win situation because of the prospect of going to heaven, where there is no illness."

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Information from: Evansville Courier & Press, http://www.courierpress.com

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