After suffering from kidney failure for a year and a half, Mike Wormsley finally found an organ donor: his co-worker at Lawrence's Liberty Memorial Central Middle School, Scott Forkenbrock.
With that out of the way, all that was left was the procedure, which went off without a hitch Tuesday morning at Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan.
"Both of them are doing very well," Wormsley's wife, Kea, said in a phone interview from the hospital Tuesday afternoon, the day the story of the two Lawrence middle school teachers was featured in the Journal-World. "The kidney started doing very well right away. There were absolutely no complications whatsoever."
Wormsley, who teaches eighth-grade American history, suffers from polycystic kidney disease, a hereditary condition that causes cysts to the form in the organs. It can often lead to kidney failure, which started happening to Wormsley in 2012. He began dialysis, but the condition essentially caused the 62-year-old to put his life on hold and drained him of his normally high levels of energy.
Forkenbrock, a computer technology teacher, heard about what his colleague was going through and offered to see if he was a match. Amazingly enough, he was.
And even though donating the kidney will sideline him from classes for the next few weeks, and leave him unable to be physically active for longer than that, Forkenbrock, a fitness enthusiast, went through with it anyway. The 42-year-old hopes his decision inspires others to become organ donors.
It was a festive environment at the hospital Tuesday, as family members brought party hats, balloons and snacks. As Kea Wormsley noted, the procedure was a happy one, meant to prolong the life of one of the patients (and without harming the other). And once the teachers' loved ones found out the surgery was a success a few hours after it started, they had even more reason to celebrate.
"As soon as the new kidney was hooked up, it started making urine, before they even closed it up," Kea said. "That's absolutely astounding!"