A Special Bond - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/21/07

A Special Bond

Devon and David, from a family photo. Devon and David, from a family photo.
For three hours a day, three times a week, Devon stays hooked up to a dialysis machine, which cleans her blood of toxins. She's been on dialysis since last October. For three hours a day, three times a week, Devon stays hooked up to a dialysis machine, which cleans her blood of toxins. She's been on dialysis since last October.

They say blood runs thicker than water, and in Devon Wheeler Jacobs' case, that's definitely true. Her family, including her 4-year-old son AJ and her mom, Wanda, are her life. Something that might have been cut short, if it weren't for her brother, David.

David, who lives in Michigan, is about to donate one of his kidneys to save Devon from a terrible disease that is slowly shutting down her organs.

There is a fund set up for Devon at all Wachovia banks, under Devon Wheeler Jacobs. Or you can mail in a donation to:

The Alpha and Omega Assistance Funds
PO Box 15482
Savannah, GA 31419

Devon was only 26 years old when she was diagnosed with Wegener's granulomatosis, an inflammation of the blood vessels. Her diagnosis came just one month after she married her high school sweetheart. The disease has now caused her kidneys to fail, leaving her with only one option, a kidney transplant.

David didn't hesitate to be tested, and was a perfect match. Devon was ecstatic over the news "Thank you Jesus," she still sings, "it was wonderful news."

Her mom, Wanda, was elated and shocked by the news, especially after talking with specialists at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.

"When I found out he was a match, I was just stunned," she told us. "Mayo told us the chances of a sibling being a match would only be 20 to 30 percent. When I did get the word he was a 100 percent match, I just shouted with joy."

While the transplant gives Devon and her family hope, the journey so far has been rough. For three hours a day, three times a week, Devon stays hooked up to a dialysis machine, which cleans her blood of toxins. She's been on dialysis since last October.

"When you have children, the first thing you think is, 'I wish it were me, let her life be fulfilled,'" said Wanda.

Once Devon has her transplant, the dialysis will be done forever. "I think I've been through the worst part of it. This is the beginning of the rest of my life," said Devon.

Now Devon concentrates on her family and keeping herself healthy. Her brother's gift is helping her focus on the important things in her life.

"I want to dance again. I want to spend more time with my son," she sighed. "You really take for granted the normal things in life. A lot of people wish they could be rich or famous. I just want to be normal again."

And in a few weeks, because of a special bond, Devon will get her wish. David will be flying down this weekend to undergo more tests at the Mayo Clinic. If everything goes well, the transplant will hopefully take place in mid September.

There is a benefit concert for Devon this Sunday at the Alpha and Omega Worship Center off Pineland Drive at 6pm. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.

There is also a fund set up for Devon at all Wachovia banks, under Devon Wheeler Jacobs. Or you can mail in a donation to:

The Alpha and Omega Assistance Funds
PO Box 15482
Savannah, GA 31419

Reported by: Melanie A. Ruberti, mruberti@wtoc.com

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