Reservist

ISS2 2016

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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Reservist's Spouse Goes Above and Beyond with Act of Compassion and Love For 3½ hours, three days a week, every week, Frank Maggelet would lie on a padded vinyl recliner with one arm outstretched with two thick needles plunged into it. Intertwining tubes carried blood into an ever humming dialysis machine, doing what his failing kidneys once did—filter his blood. Diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, Maggelet's kidney function started rapidly deteriorating in December 2014. His doctor advised that if he didn't start dialysis, he was going to die. At this time, Maggelet also initiated the long process of qualifying for a kidney transplant in his home state of California. Meanwhile, across the country in Nashua, New Hampshire, Patricia Lovenstein, a retired nurse and massage therapist, prepared to move to Juneau, Alaska, to join her husband on his one-year military deployment. Two seemingly unrelated stories, but here's where it gets really interesting. Frank Maggelet retired from the Coast Guard Reserve as a Port Security Chief in Sector Boston in 2009. Lovenstein's husband, James, a lieutenant commander in the Coast Guard Reserve, also served in Sector Boston at that time. Patricia met Maggelet only briefly on two occasions before his retirement. One night in July 2015, Patricia watched a local newscast with her family. A heartfelt story about a member of her community with kidney failure and the family's plea for a kidney donor with type "O" blood triggered something inside of her, which inspired her to reach out. "My immediate response was, I'm type "O" — I could help," remembered Lovenstein. She called the phone number provided on the screen and found out that the family mentioned on the broadcast already found a donor. Patricia continued with her life, including her upcoming relocation to Alaska and her daughter's graduation from college. However, the inspiration to donate one of her healthy kidneys lingered in her mind. "About this time I started seeing kidney information everywhere," recalled Lovenstein. She began noticing kidney donor ads on the Internet and organ donation sites in her Facebook newsfeed. Even a broadcast of an early morning talk show that she had randomly turned on featured a man thanking his kidney donor. Lovenstein explained that she had the feeling that she was being guided to something big—she just wasn't sure what. Well, on Oct. 22, 2015, the "what" became clear. Lovenstein saw a post on Maggelet's wife's Facebook page and Lovenstein and Maggelet's paths collided once again and this time in a very big way. The post brought to her attention that Maggelet was in dire need of a kidney transplant. "Once I found out that Frank needed a kidney, I knew, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that it was going to happen. I was going to be his donor," said Lovenstein. "Certainly, I do not know him well, but we are family—military family. Donating to a member of our military family would be an honor and a blessing." "I was surprised because I really didn't know her that well," recalled Maggelet. "I knew of her and I only met her briefly before through James." "Initially, it wasn't really much of a surprise to me," replied James Lovenstein. He has long been witness to his wife's extraordinary generosity and her going above and beyond with her care for other people. Patricia Lovenstein explained, "When I think of giving a kidney to Frank it just feels right. I believe I have been led to this moment simply by following the signs." Did Frank Maggelet receive any signs? "My sign was her!" exclaimed Maggelet. "Patricia, from Day One said this is going to happen. I was afraid. I didn't want my kids and wife to get too much hope." Maggelet had experienced disappointment before. One by one, test results from previous donor candidates proved to be Frank and Patricia posed for a photo before the life-saving kidney transplant 16 RESERVIST � Issue 2 • 2016

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