Family thankful for community support during kidney transplant

Kenny White received a life-saving kidney transplant Sept. 29, his family wishes to thank the West Point Community for its support of the family during this time.
Staff Writer

Kenny White and his family knew he was in need of a kidney transplant.

After two months of testing to be sure of a match, White's son Kyle was given the green light to become a kidney donor for his father. The next step was to get the money together to enable the transplant to take place at the UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, as soon as possible.

"Our sons and our church family at Old Aberdeen Road Church of Christ held a barbecue fundraiser," said Sherri White, wife of Kenny White. "The upfront cost was $6,500 plus expenses. Brooks, Kyle and Seth surprised us both with the fundraiser."

White said more than 100 leg quarters were grilled and several gallons of baked beans with bread and desserts were all sold by the plate for two nights. She said more than enough money was raised to cover all the upfront costs for the transplant.

"There is no way possible this could be done without the whole community coming out to support this effort," White said. "The OAR Church, businesses and individuals provided food and supplies. Many more people prepared or served the meals, cooked, cleaned, welcomed everyone or just gave moral support. We are indebted to everyone."

White said there was a outpouring of support from the West Point community.

We had people from Clay County and the neighboring counties come and buy plates. There were people from West Point, the extended communities and four states who were unable to attend but made a donation."

She said people had been praying for the family and the success of the transplant, literally, from coast to coast.

White said there is no way to ever repay the outpouring of love and compassion they have been shown by so many people.

"Kyle was pronounced a match in early September," White said. "Kenny received Kyle's kidney Sept. 29. They were both in surgery at the same time. Kenny was never comfortable accepting a kidney from Kyle, but he was insistent on being the donor. It was a day of joy but of trepidation as well. After all, I didn't want to lose either of them."

White said they both did well during the surgery, and Kyle was released from UAB after a few days.

"Kenny and I remained in Birmingham for more than three weeks." White said, "Our family and church members checked on Kyle and provided food and encouragement while we were unable to come home."

White said Kenny returned to work Oct. 30, with a few restrictions. She said the success of both the surgeries as donor and recipient with such rapid recovery is proof that the hundreds of prayers that were made on their behalf were answered.

White said the entire family wanted to thank the West Point Consolidated School District where they are both employed for all the love and support that was given while they were unable to work for a month and everyone at North Mississippi Medical Center West Point and UAB Hospital.

"We want to thank every church in West Point and Clay County, because it seems every one of them has been praying for us as well as churches all over the southeast," White said. "We've tried to send thank you notes to everyone, but the outpouring of good wishes was overwhelming."

White said they do not want anyone to be overlooked. She wished everyone could be thanked in person.

"Please accept our sincere and heartfelt thank you from Kenny, myself and our entire family," White said. "We love each and every one of you. We are eternally grateful. We will pay your kindness forward as God enables us to do so."