Woman gives the gift of life, & a kidney | SummitDaily.com

Woman gives the gift of life, & a kidney

Beth Murray

Who knew enjoying a beer could change the lives of two High Country locals, and even save a life? When Beth Murray ran into Peter Howe last December, they were enjoying apres ski beverages at Vendetta’s in Vail Village. And by the end of evening, Murray knew she’d found her calling. She would give Howe – a man she only knew as an acquaintance – a kidney and, with it, a new lease on life.According to Murray, when she heard that Howe’s kidney donor fell through, “everything went silent” – which was pretty amazing since they were talking in a sports bar.”I knew at that moment that was what God had in store,” she said. “I had to pass numerous tests, and I passed them all. The surgery is happening Monday.”Murray met Howe only a year before through a mutual friend in Grand Junction, and when she saw him again at Vendetta’s, everything fell into place. Howe, a longtime Vail resident who now lives in Grand Junction, happened to be back in Vail for a visit.”Three weeks before this meeting, I knew I was being called to something greater,” she said. “Truly, it was a calling from God.”Murray, who said she’s never had surgery before, is excited to help Howe, and then get back to the business of life.”I think I’m at peace knowing that this is what I’ve been called to do,” she said. “I should be back to work in two weeks. And I’m training for a 100-mile ride (the Eagle River Ride) in July. I want to get back onto my road bike within three weeks of surgery.”

In Colorado and Wyoming, 1,800 people are hoping to find a match for a “life-saving transplant.” According to a St. Anthony Summit Medical Center press release, 21 percent of current transplant candidates in Colorado have been on the waiting list for five years or more; and one donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation and more than 100 lives through tissue donation.”Extensive testing is done to make sure the donor is healthy before the operation and that they will remain healthy after surgery,” says Julie Major-Frunz, living donor coordinator at Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver. “Testing takes about 60 to 90 days, but may take longer if travel is required. Recovery after surgery takes two to three weeks. The donor’s remaining kidney gets slightly bigger and begins doing the work of two kidneys. The only common thread among donors is that they are people who want to help others.”To learn more about organ and tissue donation, please visit http://www.coloradodonorregistry.org.Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at crow@summitdaily.com.

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