Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Transplant for the Cure - A Tow Truck and a Prayer

Karen Luehrman and Janette Fuller at
Confederate Memorial Park, Higginsville, Missouri
Karen's car spent the night of October 20th in the parking garage at the University of Kansas Cancer Center. She called her car insurance company and discovered they would tow a car up to ten miles without an additional charge.

She decided to have the car towed to the Firestone Complete Auto Care at 1100 Kansas Avenue, Kansas City, Kanas.

Our mother went with us so that she could drive Karen home after the scope procedure at the hospital and I would drive Karen's car home when/if it was repaired.

Karen had an appointment at the Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic at 10:00 am. She would receive her IV treatment and then go over to the hospital for the surgical procedure to take a culture of the infection in her lung.

Karen said the tow truck would be arriving around 11:00 am, so I made a quick stop at the snack bar and then headed for the garage. I alternated between sitting in the car and pacing around the outside of the car. Each time I heard a truck engine, I got out to see if it was the tow truck. When Karen finished with the IV treatment in the clinic, I was still waiting for the tow truck. There had been a miscommunication between the insurance company and the dispatcher at Kid's Towing Service. The wrecker finally arrived at 12:45 and Karen signed the required paperwork.

The tow truck hitched-up to Karen's car, and I climbed into the passenger seat of the wrecker. I think I rode in a wrecker one other time, but it had been a long time (I live a sheltered life). The driver was a pleasant young Hispanic man with an iPad set up on the console of the truck running a GPS program. I told him that I was going to be a stem cell donor for my sister, and he said that his mother was a cancer survivor.

My heart sank as we drove out of the affluent residential neighborhood and into an older commercial/industrial area of Kansas City, Kansas. I had a map in my purse, but I had no idea where I was. I thought,
"How am I going to get out of here? Lord help me!"
I asked the driver if we were very close to I-70. He said the Firestone Store was only about a mile from the highway, and it was easy to find the way. He showed me exactly where to turn. I just had to turn left out of the parking lot, go through three traffic lights and turn left. I would go over a bridge and turn right at the light at the bottom of the bridge onto I-70 East.

We arrived at the Firestone Auto Care Center, and I went inside while the driver unhooked the car. Karen had already talked to the manager about the radiator problem. I sat down and waited for about an hour and a half.

The manager called me over and had a puzzled look on his face. He said, 
"I have some good news and bad news. The good news is that we couldn't find anything wrong, and the bad news is that we couldn't find anything wrong."
They ran diagnostic tests on the hoses, the thermostat, and the water pump. The only thing wrong was the radiator had run low on coolant. They refilled the coolant and just charged me $21.00.

A young mechanic came in and said that he used to work at Shafer's Car Care Center in Higginsville. It is a small world.

I reviewed the directions with the Firestone manager and slowly walked out to the car. I would be driving an unfamiliar car right through the middle of Kansas City. I was praying hard that the radiator would make it the 80 miles to get me safely home. I kept a close watch on the engine temperature gauge and white-knuckled it all the way back to Higginsville. (A week later Karen took her car to a Chevrolet dealership to be checked-out. They did not find anything wrong with the radiator, hoses, thermostat or water pump.) 

I made it! I got back to the house about 3:45. I called my mother, and she said that Karen was in the recovery room. They would be on their way home soon. Mom is not fond of driving in the city, but she did not have any trouble driving with Karen directing her.

Karen had two outpatient surgeries in the past two days. I think God put some good people in our paths during this time, and I am very thankful.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...