Darmstadt resident Lisa Keck, 49 is finally cleared by the Indiana Comprehensive Insurance Association for a kidney transplant.
The good news comes after follows intervention by Indiana State Sen. Vaneta Becker, R-Evansville and weeks of frustration for Keck in dealing with the insurer over several glitches, including proof that she was insured by the ICIA.
Now that the long, drawn-out ordeal is over, Keck said she is “thrilled to death.”
She said, “I thanked the Lord. It’s been a heck of a road in recent weeks.
“I told Kathy (Carnes, transplant coordinator at the Indiana University Transplant Center), ‘Get the donor. Get the doctor. I have insurance.’”
The transplant surgery is scheduled at the Indiana University Health Hospital-Indianapolis at 5:30 a.m. March 11.
Keck is scheduled to go there March 6 for presurgery blood work and to meet the donor, who wants to remain anonymous.
Keck’s case is unusual because her husband, Kerry, 51, has diabetes, like her and also needs a kidney transplant.
Both take dialysis: he four to five times a day at home and she three times a week at the Ohio Valley Dialysis Center.
Kerry Keck isn’t on a potential recipient’s list yet.
Sen. Becker said by phone from Indianapolis that she became involved in January after being contacted by a Keck family acquaintance.
In recent days, Keck became more frustrated by what she described as the runaround by ICIA.
Becker noted the irony was the ICIA is intended to be a state health care provider for people who have difficulty getting insurance
“It’s been such a time-consuming thing,” Becker said.
She said she most recently told the ICIA, “‘You know, it’s really past due to help this woman? She has the donor, but we don’t know for how long the donor will be willing to wait.’”
Becker said the case was expedited shortly after that.
“The insurance office gave its approval … I’m happy for Lisa that she can finally get this surgery done,” Becker said. “People shouldn’t have to call me, but I’m always glad to get involved if it’s necessary.”
Three other potential donors came forward, but were disqualified, since the Kecks’ story broke in Courier & Press last March 18.
If all goes well, Keck said, she will be able to return home about six days following the surgery.
The donor on average returns home within three to four days.
The transplant surgery for Keck is expected to take about four hours.
She then will be put on anti-transplant rejection medicines for the rest of her life.
Keck said will be OK with that.
Getting a transplant is no walk in the park. You just don’t receive it one day and go jogging the next day.
Close monitoring of Keck’s condition by IU will follow her surgery.
During her first month after the surgery, she will return to Indianapolis twice a week for checkups, then once a week in the second month and once every other week in the third month.
Thereafter, she will return to Indianapolis once a month for six months to a year.
Keck will also see an Evansville nephrologist regularly.
Her uncle and aunt, John and Joanie Phillips of Evansville, will drive her to and from Indianapolis this March.