- This article was in the Arizona Republic the day after Valentine’s Day. I cannot improve on it. Nothing I say or write could possible increase the miraculous beauty of this article.
Pool-repair guy’s act of faith is a lifeline
4 comments by Laurie Roberts, columnist – Feb. 15, 2012 12:00 AM
The Republic | azcentral.com
Last year, Bob Mohan called a pool-repair guy to come over and talk about remodeling his patio. Mohan got more than an estimate that day. He got a lifeline, one tossed out by a stranger.
This morning, that stranger is giving the former KFYI-AM (550) talk-radio host an extraordinary gift.
“It’ll mean a life. It means freedom,” a clearly excited Mohan told me. “It’s just unbelievable what this guy is doing for me.”
Unbelievable to Mohan and, I suspect, to most of us. But to Tim Gissel, it is all about belief, a resolute leap of faith right into the operating room at the Mayo Clinic.
This morning, Gissel is giving Mohan one of his kidneys.
Mohan, 74, has polycystic kidney disease, a genetic disorder that causes your kidneys to fail. Since June 2010, he has had to undergo dialysis three days a week for four hours a day.
It is, he says, a miserable experience, both physically draining and emotionally challenging. The only thing worse than being tethered to that hated machine, he would tell you, is the thought of not being tethered to that machine, because without it he would die.
No one in Mohan’s family could donate a kidney, so he was put onto the transplant list, for whatever that’s worth.
There are 1,592 Arizonans waiting for a kidney, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Last year, 305 people received kidneys. Of those, 166 came from living donors.
Few, if any, came from strangers.
Gissel, 44, says he knew instantly that Mohan was ill when he arrived to give an estimate on remodeling the patio. Most customers follow him outside as he surveys the work to be done and makes measurements. Mohan couldn’t.
When he asked what was wrong, Mohan told him.
Gissel went home to his wife, Deanne, and their two sons, Colter, 17, and Jackson, 13. Deanne went online and read a story about Mohan’s need for a kidney. “I don’t want to die yet,” he said at the time. “I’ve got things I want to do.”
The Gissels talked about it, and they prayed about it.
Tim Gissel is a man of deep faith. Though they live in Gilbert, both he and his wife serve as youth pastors at the Living Word Bible Church in Scottsdale.
He believes that faith is something not just to be talked about but acted upon.
So, he put it into God’s hands.
“I just asked God, ‘Speak to me in my dreams and tell me what I’m supposed to do,’ ” Gissel said. “I felt the presence of God say to do this and have faith in him, that I was going to be OK.”
There have been signs along the way, he says, that he is doing the right thing.
During the medical testing to make sure he was healthy, he says, a doctor found a problem with his heart. Later, the problem disappeared, leaving other doctors to suggest that it had been a mistake. Was it?
Then, there’s the practical consideration. Gissel works for CDC Pools in Chandler, booking jobs to remodel backyard landscapes and pools. He is the sole financial support for his family, and he works on commission. Could he afford to do this, he wondered, knowing he would be laid up for a while? That, too, he decided to leave to God.
On Tuesday, I checked in with Gissel. His goal for February is $100,000 in sales. By the time he checks in to the hospital this morning, he will have met that goal twice over.
Maybe it’s just an unbelievably busy time in the pool business. Or maybe there is something more at work here. I don’t know.
What I do know is that this morning, a very good man is doing an amazing thing that will change the life of a stranger.
Or a former stranger, I should say.
“We’re both very excited,” Gissel said. “I’m excited to see what happens in his life.”
For information about becoming a kidney donor, contact Mayo Clinic’s Kidney Transplant/Kidney Donor Team at 480-342-1010.
Reach Roberts at 602-444-8635