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A testimony of faith and survival

Robyn H. Jimenez | 8/9/2013, 7:01 a.m.
Sharman Mitchell-Burks The Dallas Examiner

“Now see, God don’t be thinking about statistics. That kidney was for me,” she testified.

Though nervous about the surgery, she knew God would see her through it. And He did.

Recovering a normal life

During recovery, her medications were adjusted, an anti-rejection medication was added and she had to undergo a treatment three times a week that she described as being similar to dialysis treatments, to combat the high antibody count from multiple blood transfusions before the transplant.

Due to complications, her incision continued to bleed for several weeks after her transplant. After attempts to dry the wound failed, she was back in the hospital. Urine had been leaking through the incision and she had to have surgery to correct it.

Last year, it was discovered that she had a hernia from the incision and had surgery to remove the hernia. Soon after that, the fistula that was placed in her arm for dialysis began to malfunction, which – at the beginning of 2013 – meant more surgery.

“The surgery was in February. I’m still healing because the wound wouldn’t close. I’m in wound-care again,” Marshall-Brooks stated, grateful for the progress. “I’m just glad I’m able to get in my car and drive up and down the street. Really I am, because I’ve come so far. Health-wise I’m good.”

She said, right now her lupus is under control. She follows her doctor’s dietary instructions and takes a long list of medications to keep her healthy, but she’s thankful that they’re working because that allows her to lead as normal and active of a life as possible.

“I’m right here now having a business that I want to do,” she gleamed. “I want to be an image consultant. So I’m training for that because I want to have some money coming in. My transplant will be three years [ago]. I want to have some other money. I want to be doing something else to help my husband. He’s been taking care of me all these years. I kind of want to help take care of him. He laughs at that and says ‘Baby, we’re a team.’ But still there’s something that I want to do to fulfill what’s in me.”

Marshall-Burks said that knowing about her lupus may or may not have saved her kidneys. But she did know for sure that her quick actions in going to seek treatment for her symptoms as they occurred saved her life. And she hopes other women will be enlightened and encouraged to do the same.

“You don’t get that many chances in life. So why mess it up? I would strongly suggest you pay attention to your body,” she urged, and said that if a woman’s health does get to the point where she can’t do the things she used to do, she should find her strength in God and keep fighting. “And don’t ever think ‘Oh I’m sick and I can’t do this…’ Get up and do something that makes you feel better about yourself. Because when you sit around and feel bad, that makes it worse. So find something you can do with your condition. Just don’t ever stop trying.”