MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

April 18, 2013

Gift of life on anniversary of death

By Travis Sloat
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Life has been difficult for Scott and Lorena Dennis in the year since the death of their daughter Kambrin.

Kambrin was 17 when she died in a car wreck — two weeks before her high school graduation.

In a time of immense grief for the family, Lorena Dennis had one main concern.

“I just prayed that God would ultimately be glorified in it,” she said.

On Wednesday — one year to the day since Kambrin’s death — Scott Dennis shared the gift of life: He donated a kidney to his uncle.

“It’s been hard on us,” Lorena Dennis said before the surgery. “But it’s going to be good for others. God’s timing has given this a larger impact. Scott is giving someone a second chance at life. This is a better way of going on with what you need to do instead of it being such a hard day.”

She described her husband as a “hero.”

“It’s hard for me to think about anything other than surviving,” she said. “For him to think about reaching out to someone like this, during this time, that’s heroic.”

Lorena Dennis said her husband was doing well and was surrounded by family after the surgery.

On Sept. 3, Scott Dennis saw a post on Facebook from his uncle, who desperately needed a kidney.

“The post said he’d been on dialysis a year,” Scott Dennis said. “He was having to lay in bed for 13 hours a day. I thought I’d go ahead and get tested to see if I was a match. From there I was questioned, had blood drawn and sent off an application packet.”

He said he had a funny feeling that he was going to be a match.

“In late November I got the call,” he said. “I was a match. I was the first person tested, and I was a match.

“The whole time, Lorena and I were thinking what we would do if they wanted to have the surgery on April 17. And then the woman called to schedule the surgery, and that was the first date they had available.

“I balked at first. I had prayed that God would handle this, so I called back and told the woman the story of our daughter.”

The operation was scheduled for Wednesday.

The surgery took place at the University of Alabama Medical Center, where a flag was flown in Scott Dennis’ honor. Upon waking from the surgery, he said, he was feeling “well enough to do a handstand.”

His wife commented: “He came through it just great. They got a nice, pink, healthy kidney out of him, and after a few complications, it’s working well in his uncle.”

She called the surgery is “an exclamation point in Kambrin’s story.”

Scott Dennis doesn’t believe what he’s doing is “that big of a deal,” he said.

“A lot of people would do this,” he said. “I’ve asked myself several times how I’ve gotten to this point. I’m amazed at what has happened.”

Reach Travis Sloat at (918) 684-2908 or tsloat@muskogeephoenix.com.