This Thanksgiving, John Albers, and his family will be counting their blessings again and again around their table.
Thankful for friends near and far, good food made by loving hands, and a bounty of blessings, the family will undoubtedly be adding one more prayer of gratitude for the successful kidney transplant from John to his 25-year old son, Will.
During the summer of 2020, Will experienced fatigue and weight loss and when he and his family met with a doctor, Will was immediately admitted to intensive care and was told his kidneys were failing. He had been close to death and immediately, the prayer chains commenced.
“We almost lost him and we are so grateful to the doctors, nurses, and staff at Northside Cherokee Hospital,” said John, Georgia senator for the 56th district. Kidneys are vital organs, like the heart and lungs. And, while the Albers and their doctors couldn’t pinpoint why Will’s had ceased functioning, they realized a donor would need to be identified quickly.
Humbly, John endured months of tests and finally announced some good news to his constituents, friends and followers on LinkedIn. "I AM THE MATCH to donate a kidney to Will! I cannot fully describe the emotion of hearing from the medical team at Emory Hospital after months of tests. Please pray for Will, me, our family, and the medical staff.”
Four months ago, father and son entered Emory Hospital for the transplant, and today, they are both healthy and strong. “We are both feeling great,” says John. “Will and I are recovering quickly with new milestones each day. The future is very bright.”
Together, they have words of support for others facing similar challenges.
“Be encouraged and know you are not alone. There is an amazing network to help someone needing an organ transplant or who would like to be a donor. Please call us personally as this has become one of our life missions and calling!”
Will chimes in, thanking his employers at Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) for the flexibility to work remotely, while he was on dialysis and waiting on the transplant.
Last month, they supported Three-13 Salon and their Angels of Life event benefiting the Georgia Transplant Foundation, which helps people work towards getting a new organ and getting a second lease on life.
Through life-changing challenges, John and Kari have been lifted. “The Roswell community was incredible - from our church (Roswell United Methodist) to our neighborhood, Rotary, the Senate, work and even perfect strangers. It was humbling and overwhelming by the outpouring of support. We are truly blessed,” says John.