[an error occurred while processing this directive] This article is from the EMU News Archive. The approximate date of publication was in April 2006. Current EMU news is available at www.emu.edu/news

Crossroads:
mileposts

Alumnus Gets Re-Organized

Bob Bishop (C 70) and Scott Magill don?t think their encounter "just happened." Both are convinced the whole experience has been providential.

One day last summer, Bob, 58, stopped for coffee at a cafe near New Hope, Pa., and picked up a back issue of a weekly newspaper, The Bucks County Herald.

He was drawn to a photo and an ad from a 61-year-old local man, Scott Magill, who was appealing for a kidney donor. He had about 12 percent function of his kidneys and was on dialysis for hours three times a week. What he hoped would be successful donations on four separate occasions were halted at various stages.

Bob had never met Scott, even though he lived just miles away. Noting that they had the same blood type, he felt compelled to "at least explore the possibility."

Once Bob sensed the blessing of other family members, it was all systems go ? that is, once he passed a battery of other tests.

In August 2005, Bob called Scott and arranged a time to meet for the first time. They sat on Bob?s front porch one night and talked, "Obviously sizing each other up." Scott, a Bucks County native, had been a real estate broker for 34 years and active in community organizations.

Bob made numerous trips to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, some 20 miles south, for intensive tests. The transplant took place successfully at Jefferson Hospital on Dec. 13, 2005.

"I went to the hospital a healthy person; Scott wasn?t," Bob said. "He had other physical issues beyond failing kidneys that made the procedure more involved for him, including high blood pressure and diabetes."

The donor?s expenses were covered by a special fund at the hospital, the recipient?s by his own insurance program.

"I never lost a moment?s sleep wondering ?what if,? even on the eve of being on the operating table," Bob noted. Scott admits that earlier in his life he had dreams of dying before reaching his 50th birthday, but when the time arrived for the actual procedure, he "felt a peace" about everything.

"I had no idea how long my recovery period would be," Bob said. "I was back at work 12 days after the procedure, much sooner than expected." The recovery period is longer for Scott, and he returns to Jefferson every week.

"I?m feeling good," Scott said. "There?s still some blood pressure problems, but the doctors are monitoring that as well as the anti?rejection drugs I?m taking."

Looking back on the experience, Bob said he has a new appreciation for good health and a fresh realization that "my body is a friend," recognizing the need to work on weight control, stay away from any full-contact sports and watch his blood sugar ? anything that can affect his remaining kidney.

So, why did agree to donate a healthy kidney to someone he didn?t even know initially?

"I think most people would be willing to donate a kidney in a minute to a family member or close friend, but for me it wasn?t a stretch to do this for a stranger ? mainly because we both had an inner sense that it was meant to be." Scott agreed.

The two now find themselves now in a "unique relationship, part of something bigger that?s going on."

They?re spending considerable time back and forth in each other?s homes, having meals together, celebrating the successful procedure and optimistic outlook on the future. One might say their animated conversation is something of an organ recital, with Bob and Scott singing a new melody.

?Jim Bishop