A scrapbook meeting 14 years ago leads to kidney donation

A chance meeting between two women at a scrapbooking convention would turn out to a be a life-changing moment for one of their husbands.

Long-time friends Krystal Grant and Lois Helmick.

Ever since Krystal Grant from Pelzer, SC, met Lois Helmick at a scrapbooking convention in Utah nearly 14 years ago, they developed a special friendship. Distance did not keep the two from supporting one another, as Lois sang at Krystal’s wedding and was by her side when her child was born.

Lois’s husband, Pete, was always supportive of his wife’s endeavors and friendships, until one life changing event: Pete’s kidneys went into sudden failure.

Pete had always been a healthy, vibrant man who enjoyed outdoor activities and working his own business. However, after his diagnosis, these opportunities became either too difficult or just a memory, especially after he started dialysis.

2003_march_texas_visit_52
Baylor Scott & White Health transplant recipient Pete Helmick and his wife Lois.

As Pete’s disease quickly progressed, he began searching for a donor. Pete did find a match through his young daughter, but he refused to impact her life in order to save his own.

Meanwhile, over in South Carolina, Krystal had just celebrated her 10 year anniversary with her husband, however, she could not sit by and watch her friend’s husband battle this condition.

That’s when Krystal decided to make huge a decision and get tested to see if she was a match for Pete.

“Explore."

Indeed she was, and thus began the journey. Through no fault of their own, they experienced several bumps in the process to transplantation. Fortunately, they were led to Scott & White Medical Center – Temple, where they started the process a second time, and in less than three months the surgery was scheduled.

Once the surgery was scheduled, Krystal left her home and children in South Carolina to make the journey to help Pete and Lois. After the transplantation, Krystal noticed an immediate change in Pete’s disposition, and it was then that she knew she had made the right choice.

587c2945-1As both the Grant and Helmick family look back on this journey, they are grateful for that scrapbooking convention in Utah almost 14 years ago. Yet, even through the difficult process, they maintained joy and laughter with one another, proving to be the best medicine of all.

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-2-00-46-pm

About the author

Deontrea Jones
More articles

As a media relations manager, I help organize public relations activities for the hospital and clinic system. I serve as a contact for news journalists looking for sources or experts for their stories by coordinating interviews on subjects dealing with medicine and medical research at Baylor Scott & White Health.

Leave a Reply

A scrapbook meeting 14 years ago leads to kidney donation