Yolanda Mixon and her daughter Lekisha had big smiles on their faces Friday, even though they both had surgery just two days ago and are still hooked up to medical equipment.
They couldn’t be happier, because Lekisha Mixon just gave her mom a Mother’s Day present she’ll never forget: one of her kidneys.
“I feel like my mom has given me the most wonderful life. I've never had to want for anything and this was my way of giving back to her, and showing her that I appreciate everything,” Lekisha Mixon said.
Yolanda Mixon was feeling good.
“I feel upbeat, more upbeat, even though I'm an upbeat person anyway, because I usually don’t let anything get me down,” she said.
Sgt. First Class Mixon served in Operation Desert Storm. A few years later she developed lupus, an autoimmune disease that attacked her kidneys. So Lekisha offered one of hers – but it took years before the transplant could happen because the lupus attacked Yolanda’s lungs as well.
“It’s been a long road. I had to get myself in shape,” she said.
Lekisha Mixon, who has a positive demeanor like her mother, says she never doubted that the transplant would take place.
It happened Wednesday at Jackson Memorial Hospital, as two doctors performed simultaneous surgeries.
“Her kidneys actually started functioning right away, so we were all very happy about how things are going along,” surgeon Dr. George Burke said of Yolanda Mixon’s progress.
Doctors plan on releasing both the donor and recipient some time this weekend, so they can spend Mother’s Day together at home.
How does getting a kidney rate among Mother's Day presents?
“This is the best and then some,” Yolanda Mixon said. “Yep. So I don’t have to ask her for no flowers come Sunday. I'll wait ’til next year.”
Above: An early photo of Lekisha Mixon with her mother, courtesy of the Mixon family.