The gift of life

Thursday, December 23, 2004
Laquietta Eidson and her nephew, Joseph Eidson, enjoy a visit before surgery. Both underwent surgery for Joseph's kidney transplant on Dec. 7. The two tested a perfect match. (photo provided)

Joseph Eidson, 13, has received a priceless present -- the gift of life. Joseph underwent a kidney transplant on Dec. 7 at LaBonhuer Hospital in Memphis. The donor was his aunt, Laquietta Eidson, formerly of Lake City.

Joseph is the son of Joe and Jodie Eidson of Mt. Ida (near Hot Springs), and the grandson of Linda Eidson of Lake City, Debra and Curtis Adams of Mt. Ida and Dale and Judy Stewart of Paragould. He has a brother, Dylan, who is nine years old.

Laquietta lives in Memphis and is the school counselor in the Marion School District. She is a 1992 Riverside High School graduate.

Laquietta said she never had any doubts about being tested to see if she was a match for her young nephew.

"Joseph had been on kidney dialysis for almost two years," Laquietta said. "When both his parents were tested and could not be a donor because of health problems, I wanted to be tested. He is my oldest nephew, but they are all special to me and I would have done it for any one of them."

Laquietta underwent all of the blood testing, EKG's, catscan, chest x-rays, and urinalysis starting last August. It took a couple of months for all of the tests results to find out that she was a perfect match for her nephew.

"I found out just how healthy I am," Laquietta said.

Joseph was born with prune belly syndrome. When he was one and half years old, he had to have one kidney removed. Two years ago he had to go on dialysis.

"It has been a long two years for Joseph," his mother said. "He was on dialysis at home every night for eight hours. He could not stay all night with anyone, and was on a restricted diet."

Once all of the testing was complete, the surgeries were set for Dec. 7. Laquietta had her surgery at the Methodist Hospital in Memphis and her kidney was removed and transported to LaBonhuer's Children's Hospital where they had Joseph ready for the transplant.

"The doctors told us that the kidney started working as soon as it was placed in his body," Laquietta said.

She talked to him a couple times on the telephone before leaving Memphis to go to Walnut Ridge to recuperate. Joseph and his parents stayed at Laquietta's apartment while he is recuperating. Laquietta went to Memphis for a doctor's appointment last Friday and she did get to visit with him for a few hours.

"They were a perfect match," Jodie said. "Most kidney transplant patients go home with what is called the Big 3 medications to prevent rejection. Joseph was the first child to leave LaBonhuer's with on the Big 2."

Right now everything is going well for Joseph and Laquietta. She plans to return to school after the Christmas break.

Joseph's mother said if she never gets anything else for Christmas or birthdays it will be okay with her. Their future plans are to live a normal, happy life.

"We brought Joseph into the world but his Aunt Laquietta gave him life," Jodie said. "She will always be our hero."

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