|Charles Barkie (left) and Rick Swygman (right) celebrate the successful kidney transplant.|
NOTE: CBS Atlanta recently published an article and a video
about this story. CLICK HERE to read the article and
view the video.
What does it mean to be truly Christlike?
Perhaps the key to that answer lies in the words
said at the consecration of the Eucharist at every Catholic
Mass, “This is My Body, which will be given up
Rick Swygman knows what it’s like to be Christlike.
Today (August 21, 2009) he is living Christ’s very words,
as he undergoes surgery to give part of his own
body to another.
Swygman is the Executive Director at Pinecrest
Academy in Cummings, GA. One Pinecrest dad who sends two of
his four children to Pinecrest has discovered just how generous
a brother-in-Christ can be.
Like Swygman, Charles Barkie knows what is
to be Christ-like. He has undergone great suffering through kidney
dialysis for many months, according to Nancy Palmer, Marketing Director
at Pinecrest. She said he was fighting off infections and
other health problems almost up to the day of the
surgery. Doctor’s had only given him a year in which
to find a transplant, or else the situation would be
During that year, potential donors underwent the testing to determine
if their organs could be a “match” for Barkie. Swygman
was the best possible match for the donation.
The Pinecrest Executive
Director’s immediate family is very supportive of his decision to
go through with the procedure, said Palmer. All four of
Swygman’s children, ranging in age from 1st grade through high
school, attend Pinecrest.
The Barkie family is “euphoric” about the decision,
according to Palmer. Earlier this week, Mrs. Barkie brought her
husband and Swygman matching pajamas to wear in the hospital,
as well as an iPod for Swygman to enjoy his
favorite music during his convalescence.
“Mr. Swygman has never had surgery
before, nor even been in the hospital before this,” said
Palmer. He will be in the hospital for a few
days, and will need to recover for a few weeks
before returning to work.
For Barkie, the hospital stay and subsequent
recovery will be much longer and more difficult. Prayers and
support will be needed for several weeks as Barkie’s body
attempts to accept the kidney and regain strength.
both the Swymans and the Barkies in your prayers!