The pathfinder

Man was destined to give and receive, to laugh and cry, to make and break as he will. Some men were destined to also take challenges, while others enjoyed benefits of miracles.

The world was shrouded under a dark cloud. Humans suffered in many ways and then one day a man was detected with failing kidneys. People said, he will not live long. The poor man struggled and panted; he was not able to eat, nor drink, nor breathe normally. His legs swelled up, and the doctor would observe, “There is water retained in the body, since he did not pass urine.”

Those were days when people heard stories here or there of someone dying of kidney failure. People talked in whispers. Was it fear, embarrassment or any other reason, was not known.

Human beings crippled by the ailment, suffered and struggled. There was pain and sorrow, above all, no hope.

Then the clouds moved, people who waited patiently knew hope was here.

Newsmen reported of ‘unusual happenings at the Brigham Hospital’. Suspicions arose when reports of finger printing done at the local police station, leaked.  Amidst media speculation, the radio broadcasting day to day on what happened in the hospital, till the first transplant was successfully done by Dr John Murray. It was the case involving Korean War returned Richard Herrick whose kidney failed and his twin-brother Ronald stepped forward to donate.

In a rare manner, the doctor took center stage. He wielded a power no one possessed; the power to heal, to fix the impossible, and to give hope for surviving a chronic kidney failure.

Richard lived for eight years and died of unrelated illness.

23 year old donor, Ronald lived healthy and happy well past 75 years! In 2004, Dr Murray and Ronald raised a toast to 50 years of the first successful kidney transplant.

That’s life, loving and giving.

No moment to wonder, no moment to withdraw, time to commit and see another person live a life beyond pain and endurance.

This is a tribute to the late Ronald Herrick and Dr John Murray.


Source: Chapter 9 – Richard and Ronald Herrick, First Identical-Twin Kidney Transplant. (pdf) – Surgery of the Soul.

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