While Joyce Pence was wintering in Mission, Texas with her husband, she became ill and thought she had a terrible case of the flu. After three weeks of being sick and losing 25 pounds, they decided they needed to get back to Iowa to seek medical treatment.
"I was sick enough that I still don't remember the two-day trip home," Joyce said.
After arriving home, Joyce went straight to her doctor and the next day was sent to Iowa Methodist Medical Center. She had extensive testing done, and by five o'clock in the evening she was put on dialysis. Joyce was 69 years old and was experiencing renal failure.
Joyce initially came to Iowa Methodist Medical Center each Monday, Wednesday and Friday for dialysis as she waited for a kidney transplant. On October 30, 2009, Joyce received a call to come to the hospital for a possible transplant, but while she was in route she received another call that the transplant could not occur because she was suffering from a cold and could not risk an infection.
"We thought it would be a long time before we would receive another call," Joyce explained. "But just four days later on Wednesday, November 3, we received another call to report to Iowa Methodist Medical Center. I was to receive a transplant the next morning. We were very surprised to receive the second call so soon, but we were overjoyed at the reality of a transplant."
Joyce said her surgeon, Dr. Franklin, and his staff were outstanding both during and after her stay at the transplant center. After her surgery, she received excellent care and each week she could tell things were going in the right direction. It took a while for Joyce to regain her energy, but she was thankful each day that there would be no more dialysis.
Joyce and her husband are very thankful for the care they received from the Transplant Center. Joyce also feels deeply indebted to her donor family.
"We often think of the family who donated my kidney and hope that God will always watch over them," she explained, "I feel truly blessed that at the age of 74 I was able to receive a kidney transplant and there would be no more dialysis. It has given me a much happier life with my family. God has been very good to me in the last few years."