What is Faith? And, How Faith Got Me Through a Kidney Transplant | May 30, 2021 Essay

May 24, 2021

A few years ago, I found a sign that said, “Faith will get us through.” That sign now hangs in our family’s kitchen and inspires me every day. Well, it especially inspired me over the past three months as I was recovering from a kidney transplant that I knew for the past 10 years I would need eventually. I just never thought I would need it in the middle of a pandemic as well. Thankfully, I am part of a large family, and my NYC brother John was a match, so I did not have to endure the challenges of waiting 6-8 years on the National Organ Registry’s Transplant List. The transplant surgery was on March 2, 2021, with a team of doctors from the Rogosin Institute, part of NY Presbyterian’s Weill Cornell Medical Center. Wow! Were they amazing with their care, treatment, and follow-up – true heroes for sure!

So that brings me to the question of this message: What is Faith? For me it is an unwavering belief that everything will be all right because God has this – it’s really not up to me. But I do have some input, namely saying thank you to God and others every day, living in the moment for me and others around me, and staying positive no matter what. Sometimes a very, very lot of good comes out of what initially seems very bad.

That “very, very lot of good” came to me with and from the St. Ignatius Loyola Church’s focus on Prayer, Community, and Service. People, lots of people, came together to support me and my family post-transplant, and that has made a very significant difference and impact on my recovery.

Not only were there the numerous prayers and messages of support from parishioners, but also from SILS parents (St. Ignatius Loyola School), LGBT Ministry members, and my friends and family, but it was also backed by action and acts of service. A group of SILS parents formed a “meal train” and delivered meals to our apartment lobby for the period just after my discharge. That took a huge burden off “everyday things” and made the transition to home much easier for our family. Faith inspires others too!

I want to extend an immense thank you to everyone for their support and encouragement. People sent cards, flowers, fruit, balloons, and, most importantly, thoughts of healing and love. Faith brought all that out to me – so unexpected and so meaningful. Faith gives you hope in ways you never expect. Faith rocks the world, especially now as we all move forward, post-transplant or post-pandemic.

Thank you all.

– Rich Miller-Murphy, Parishioner