Thursday, September 10, 2009

1-800-GIVE-LIFE

Once upon a time there was a little 6 pound 9 ounce boy named Clark Kimble born to Jim and Rhonda Kimble. Little as he was then, we had no idea he would grow up to be such a giant. Oh I don't mean giant in size but giant in purpose. Clark has now been in the Surgical ICU Center at University of Utah Hospital for over 6 weeks. I am aware of 79 units of blood products that he has used so far, plus many more that I have no idea about. Yesterday I had the privilege to witness what power a group of people can be.
I drove into the parking lot where Clark goes to church and could see that the parking lot was full of cars. As I searched for a place to park myself, I went to the back of the church and stopped in the road briefly to get my grips. You see, I think I'm still in denial that this has all happened to Clark but tonight I faced a reality check. When I saw all those Red Cross Vehicles with 1-800-GIVE-LIFE on them I began to weep and gave gratitude for all the many people that have become involved in Clark's story and the gift of life Clark was being a part of.

The arrow directed to me to one of the most memorable nights. I entered the church and the event was made even more personable as I saw many pictures of my son in the superman pictures all over the entry. I was greeted by young single adult members of our church and the Red Cross Staff. Anita, from the Red Cross told me that I had no idea how much Clark's story had touched so many peoples lives, that even the staff at the Red Cross had been following the blog. She felt she knew us but had never met us before. She said she had moved some other drives around because she knew she'd need extra staff to man this blood drive for Clark, and she was right. Typically an average drive would bring in about 90 units of blood but this one brought in over 150 units. She said it was one of the best drives the Red Cross has had in over 15 years. At the end of the night, they had to lock their doors and turn people away. Now that is the power of people. Clark lays in the same hospital room, day after day in an isolated room with limited visitors, usually me, and really has no idea the magnitude his life has had on so many people who have no idea who he is. Many people were there for their first time to donate blood, and I'll bet they will be repeat donors from now on. Several passed out and still left smiling because they gave. Some were disappointed that they couldn't for various reasons. I know that many people started donating blood from the very beginning of Clark's journey in getting a liver transplant. I also give you thanks. I know various groups, places of business, and individuals have all come forward for the same purpose. You ALL have saved lives. Clark himself needed the blood products of over half of the people who donated last night. I have spent many hours in the surgical waiting room here at the U and have over heard loved ones talking about blood transfusions. I'm aware of the many other hospitals that are also in need. We are pleased that we were a big part of the supply that saves lives. Again, thanks to everyone. You are the people who have made Clark a giant.

Clark's sister Kristin, who is nursing a 4 month old baby donated!

Bishop Sampson was comforted by "Monkey George" and he donated! Bishop was sure that he would pass out but he man'd up through it all. He did later tell me that he got a little dizzy and had to sit down but luckily it passed without him going down.

My brother, Bruce Larson and his wife Illa gave!

And then there was Caleb. This was his first time to donate. He was SO nervous and caught a lot of attention from those who were offering encouragement. The time came for him to take his turn. Monkey George was again at hand to offer comfort.

Caleb was called to give and he was determined to do so. I could literally feel Caleb's relief when the crowd of on lookers assured him the needle had be entered, and the worst was over. Thanks for conquering your fear Caleb and good luck in your future visits to the Red Cross.

Some donors had passed out yet were smiling when they left.

8 comments:

kate said...

Hi, my name is Kate and Anita Kay from the Red Cross is my aunt. I over heard her talking about this story and decided to look at the website. I started from the beginning, and wow. Clark is really inspirational. It sounds like he has made one of the toughest decisions anybody could be faced with. He chose to be positive through out everything, and put his hand in God's hand. Even though I don't know Clark he will be in our prayers. Thank you all. Good luck!

Janeanne said...

Thanks for sharing Rhonda. What a wonderful story. Wish we could have been there to participate. And, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Good Morning, Clark. The events of yesterday remind me of something Hellen Keller said:
Grief and pain are but the soil from which springs the lovely plant - unselfishness.

Unfortunately Clark, this season, your garden has been planted in a big patch of grief and pain. But, the harvest - unselfishness - has been bountiful. Your bumper crop is being shared by many wonderful caring people who are happy to support you.

Hellen Keller ends the quote with these words: Whatever you can do to live bravely - without impatience or repining - will help you live some day in joyful contentment.

May today and every day be filled with joy and peace!

Janeanne

Carla O'Farrell said...

That is an awesome story Rhonda, I just wanted to wish you a very Happy Birthday Today. As you sit be Clark's sit just know we are thinkin of you on your special day.

Austin said...

Clark's story has been an inspiration to many and has reminded me how valuable our lives and time here on earth is. I donated about 6 weeks ago when this all began and went and found a Red Cross blood drive at BYU. When I went in they confirmed all my information and I found it had been 7 years since I had donated through the Red Cross. I now have a standing appointment every 8 weeks and a permanent donor card. I heard a story on the radio of two 80 year old men that have each donated just over 40 gallons of blood in their lifetime. I can only hope to do the same.

Mills said...

Happy Birthday Rhonda. I hope that you are able to have your birthday wishes granted (which I am sure are related to Clark's recovery) Daily I think about Clark, you, and your family. While I am VERY nervous about donating blood, next week will be our blood drive here in Watertown and I will be so PROUD to do it again keeping Clark in my heart as I do.
Stay strong! You have been an inspiration to me before as I have mentioned in the past. And now Clark is too.
What an inspiration and a reminder to remain positive throughout life in any circumstance.
Jana

Cher said...

Wow! Rhonda, I imagine that was a sight to behold! Clark you certainly have a huge following of family, friends, and strangers supporting you on this journey.

Hope you all are having a GREAT day! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Rhonda! And celebrate. Today is Good.

Looking forward to news of continued recovery. XOXO

kelli said...

There is a blood drive where I work every 8 weeks. I usually walk briskly by the registration table in too much of a hurry to stop and register a time to donate during my lunch break. Again today, I walked by quickly but then stopped dead in my tracks as a picture of Clark flashed in my head. I turned around without hesitation. I've never donated and I will be donating for the first time next week.

Janeanne said...

Happy Saturday, Clark! I bet it's hard to keep up with what day it is, 'huh? But I hope each new day is better than the one before.

Here's an interesting parable. I've heard it before and don't know who wrote it.

Love ya! Hope this day is good.

Janeanne

Shake It Off and Step Up

A farmer had a mule that fell in an old well. Though the the farmer felt sorry for the mule, he decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth saving.

Instead, he called his neighbors together and asked them to help fill the well with dirt, putting his trusty friend out of his misery.

As dirt started to fall on the old mule, he became hysterical. But after awhile, he realized something: Every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back: he could shake it off and step up!

Blow after blow, the mule repeated these words: "Shake it off and step up... shake it off and step up... shake it off and step up!"

No matter how painful the blows, the old mule just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up!

It wasn't long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well!

What seemed like it would bury him, actually blessed his life. All because he chose to overcome his adversity.