Friday, September 23, 2011

FRED Friday...Meet Amy, the Miracle Fred

FRED Friday…Meet Amy, the Miracle Fred
Left: Becky Springer...Right: Amy Otto

Last week Mark Sanborn received an email from Mr. William (Bill) Mulcahy regarding a FRED Friday nomination - Amy Otto.   Mr. Sanborn forwarded it to me, and I immediately wanted to share it with the OneMoreStepRevolution community.

Attached to Mr. Mulcahy’s email was a newspaper article from the Dunwoody Crier, a Dunwoody, GA newspaper that printed a full story about how Amy Otto, our featured Fred, saved her friend, Becky Springer’s, life.

While I’ve never met Mr. Mulcahy, I’m glad to hear that he reads the OneMoreStepRevolution blog, and I’m even more thrilled that he and Mr. Sanborn reached out to me with what is a very touching Miracle Fred story, to say the least.  I hope it inspires you as it has certainly inspired me.

First, meet Becky Springer…

Becky Springer became very ill in February of 2008 as she contracted a rare bacterial infection, Haemophilus influenzae Type b, a disease for which adults are not commonly at risk.  The terrible infection caused Becky’s organs to shut down and eventually led to septicemia, a serious, life-threatening condition caused by bacteria in the blood.

Becky’s kidneys went first, she suffered a stroke, and doctors were forced to amputate her hands and feet just to keep her alive.  She later spent six weeks at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where she regained her strength and learned to walk with prosthetic feet.  Her twenty-four hour kidney dialysis was eventually reduced to three times per week, which she continued after returning home to Atlanta. 

The Dunwoody Crier newspaper article talks about Becky’s amazingly positive attitude even after her amputation…she said, “When I woke up and learned they had cut off my hands and feet, God had instilled in me peace, comfort, and patience.  I felt calm and at peace in my heart.”

By early 2009, adjusting to her “new normal”, with prosthetic hands and feet, Becky was placed on the kidney transplant list through the Piedmont Hospital Transplant Institute.  Time passed…more time passed…and still no suitable donor was found among Becky’s family, friends, or anonymous potential donors…

Then…Amy Otto joined Becky’s book club…

Amy Otto met Becky Springer when they both joined the same book club just outside of Atlanta.  Amy told the Dunwoody Crier newspaper what motivated her to consider donating one of her kidneys to her friend Becky, “She’s everything I am – a wife, a mother, a sister…but she has all those challenges.  She’s smart, funny, and a go getter.”

After extensive research and with the support of her husband and two teenage children, Amy made the decision in April of 2011 to pursue the opportunity to be Becky’s donor. Amy told the Dunwoody Crier newspaper, “I made up my mind…I’m going to do this.  I could enhance someone’s life.  I didn’t see a downside.  I tell my kids, ‘If you can enhance someone’s life it’s a wonderful thing’.”

She confided in Paul Springer, Becky’s husband, and together they forged ahead with the series of health and physiological tests necessary for potential donors.  (To avoid potential disappointment, Becky was kept out of the loop during the testing.)  In order for transplants to work, living donors not only have to be in excellent physical health, but their blood types must also be compatible with that of the recipient’s; in addition, the recipient must test negative for antibodies in their blood that may reject the donor kidney. 

Despite the odds, Becky tested negative for antibodies and Amy’s blood type was a match…doctors at Piedmont Hospital were optimistic, and on June 3rd, earlier this summer, kidney transplant surgery was performed with donor (Amy) and recipient (Becky) in adjoining operating rooms.  Each friend now has one fully functioning kidney. 

Becky’s touching quote in the Dunwoody Crier newspaper article read, “I prayed for someone to give me a kidney…I believe God picked Amy and said this is what you’re going to do…it literally was a miracle.  The doctors couldn’t believe someone just walked in to be tested and it was a match.”

The cool part…

Amy says that when she sees Becky it warms her heart.  When people call her a hero, Amy insists that she is not…but Becky is the hero because, “she’s taken lemons and made them lemonade.”

This story opened my eyes in a couple of ways. 

1)   Of all the OneMoreSteps and OneMoreStep Moments…what could be more impactful than sacrificing something of your own to save another’s life? Amy gives new meaning to my OneMoreStep mantra – “when you think you’ve done enough, go OneMoreStep”.  FREDs like Amy Otto prove that we can always do MORE…we can always go OneMoreStep.

2)   Hearing Becky’s story…realizing the challenges that she faces and the life-threatening obstacles she and her family have overcome since February of 2008…I realize that my challenges, my “lemons” not only pale in comparison to hers, they really aren’t challenges at all.  I’m reminded this week that rather than complain, worry, and dwell on circumstances or people that frustrate me, I should focus on the good stuff.  Philippians 4:8 comes to mind.

Thank you, Amy…for proving that no matter what the situation, we can always do MORE…we can always go OneMoreStep to “enhance someone’s life”.

Thank you, Becky…for inspiring us all to have faith, stay positive, and to remember that if God gives us lemons, we should make lemonade…we should all be more like you.  You truly are a hero.

Thank you Mr. Mulcahy…for sending this story to our friend Mark Sanborn, whose best selling book, The Fred Factor is not only the inspiration for this blog, but also inspires so many of us to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary…and thanks to both you and Mr. Sanborn for reading and spreading the magic of the OneMoreStepRevolution...

Have a great day.


What is FRED Friday?

In my favorite book, The Fred Factor, Mark Sanborn tells an inspiring story of how a man named Fred goes OneMoreStep after OneMoreStep in his role as a Postman for the United States Postal Service.  I love this book.  Since my mom sent it to me in 2004, I've purchased the book for friends, coworkers, and girlfriends...I've even purchased and hand delivered copies of the book to several executives at both Wynn Las Vegas and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. 

Fred Friday is a series in which the OneMoreStepRevolution blog will showcase a real life "Fred" on select Fridays.   Reading The Fred Factor definitely leaves us with a desire to to be more Fred-like ourselves, but I also love looking for FredsFreds are everywhere. I love it when I experience a real life Fred.  I'm inspired just as I am every time I re-read the book.  I thought it would be fun to spread the magic of Fred to our OneMoreStepRevolution community. 

Mr. Mulcahy lives in Atlanta, GA, and he is President & CEO of Mulcahy Consulting, his own firm that provides internal auditing, accounting, and risk management services to their clients.

No comments:

Post a Comment