Kuzara: A transplant tale of luck, beauty and heroes

Casper Star Tribune | Mike Kuzara

Mary looked up from the document she was reading. “It says here that from now on, if I work in the garden, I have to wear a hat, long sleeves, gloves and a mask.”

“It’ll never work,” I responded. "You might fool the tomatoes because they don’t strike me as being particularly brilliant, but the cucumbers and pumpkins will recognize you right off.”

I looked at the steady drip in the collection bag hanging from her hospital bed that told me and everyone else who cared to look that it indicated good news: Her new kidney was doing its job.

Mary jokes about me being the “Tim Taylor” of Dutch Creek, but I am quick to defend myself by pointing out that it wasn’t me who roto-tilled my leg or lost a finger clearing a grass clog from the grass blower. And here she sat in room 1776 (Happy birthyear America!) in the Virginia Mason transplant center in Seattle, Washington, with tubes dangling from all sorts of places, grinning at me with a smile that sported a scab on her lip from tripping over one of our irrigation faucets at the edge of the back driveway.

As she explained it, she got up too quickly from tending a small transplanted evergreen tree, staggered backward and tripped over the protruding pipe. As luck would have it, her face hit the rough shale of the driveway instead of the softer lawn grass at its border. Continue reading