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Fort Mill mom waits to see if kidney transplant will be success

It would be great to say that a little more than a month after receiving a kidney from her 18-year-old daughter, Sarah Nesbit is feeling terrific.

But Sarah just spent two days in the hospital, again. She still needs dialysis twice a week.

And Monday - the same day Sarah's daughter Melody starts classes in college - Sarah likely will find out whether her body will reject the kidney.

The process has left Sarah Nesbit physically drained and her daughter emotionally upset and confused.

When Melody turned 18, she surprised her mother by saying she was a match for a transplant. Melody's dream of giving her mother - who has had renal problems for almost 10 years - seemed to come true after the Nov. 30 surgery.

Although Melody is back to a somewhat normal life already and starts pre-dental classes Monday at University of South Carolina-Lancaster, her mother's health has not improved like the family had hoped.

Melody said she is "furious and mad."

"She's supposed to be better," said Melody, "but she's not."

Sarah said her daughter's anger and confusion that the surgery has not been successful is understandable.

"She's 18 years old," Sarah Nesbit said.

Sarah and Jason Nesbit also have a son, 10-year-old Ernie.

Jason has continued to work long hours at his Rock Hill shop, Bestway Automotive, while Sarah's mother arrived from out of state to help around the house.

Many in the community who read about the upcoming surgery Thanksgiving Day in The Herald generously gave the family groceries and donations. One guy even paid a big bill of Jason's at an auto parts warehouse.

"People have reached out with so much love and caring," Jason Nesbit said. "It is really wonderful."

Sarah said the prayers and well-wishes have been crucial to getting this far.

"I am not losing my faith that a miracle can happen," she said.

Melody's recovery was "a lot of pain at first." Sarah's ordeal has been much harder, requiring a basketful of medications and the twice-weekly dialysis that leaves her drained.

Christmas and the New Year came and went with not a lot of celebrating at the Nesbit house. Not with Sarah in such pain at times, on crutches, dealing with fluid retention and so much else.

"I have my good days and my bad days," Sarah Nesbit said. "But my faith is strong."

Monday's biopsy is a crucial next step.

The family will probably know for sure if the kidney that Melody waited 10 years to give to her mother will be a physical part of her life forever or not.

On top of all that, this weekend, Melody and her friends had to cart out all her stuff to an apartment in Lancaster so she can go to school full-time.

All of this stress has been tough for a family running a small mechanic business, trying to send a daughter off to school, and generally just not knowing what Sarah's future holds.

"I want her to be able to focus on school," Sarah said of her daughter, "but it is not easy with so much at home."

Melody promised her mother she will be home often. She somehow has to get past the confusion and disappointment that has come with the transplant. She still hopes to play college softball after an award-winning career at Fort Mill High.

With Monday's test looming, somehow, Sarah Nesbit manages a smile.

She is able to hug her daughter who gave her a kidney - even if neither one yet knows if that kidney will save Sarah or not.