The Miraculous Pool Man

February 17, 2012 |

  • 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 |

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

Read more:

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
This entry was posted in Heartwarming or humorous stories and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to The Miraculous Pool Man

  1. Kate Kresse says:

    Reblogged this on Joy Forwarding Project and commented:

    This article about an extraordinarily generous pool man restores faith in humanity.

  2. pbus1 says:

    Wow! Beautiful story! Now that’s faith walking, not just faith talking! This is such a beautiful example of the love of Jesus operating in this man’s life! May the Lord bless both men richly! Thank you for sharing, and may God bless you too!


  3. fgassette says:

    A beautiful story. It makes you ask yourself, If my faith was tested in some extreme manner, would I pass?


  4. misswhiplash says:

    what a wonderful man of God…his reward is the Faith that he has and acting on his Faith..whata wonderful experience!

  5. We demonstrate our faith more by our actions than we do with our words. Awesome story! Wouldn’t it be nice if newspapers and TV stations reported more of this kind of news rather than all the horrible stuff?

  6. Gissel is a a perfect example of God’s unconditional love. This man has a heart so pure and generous that I am humbled simply by reading this post. He’s like an angel sent on Earth. This touch me a lot, ““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.” Because of this story, I’m inspired to give more, just like this kind man and his family. God bless them and the patient who recieved his kidney. Stories like these make us value life and faith…Thank you…..

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Those kinds of stories do inspire and challenge us don’t they? I was moved so much. Listening through reading– and completely moved by Gissel’s act of faith and God’s obvious response to it….double…

  7. This story is awe-inspiring. I hope both men thrive. Wow.

  8. Definitely, absolutely a “joy forwarding” moment. Sweet. Thanks for sharing this. ❤

  9. Kate Kresse says:

    it was such a delightful, moving, inspiring story, wasn’t it?

  10. Caddo Veil says:

    This put a lump in my throat and burned my eyes with tears. What marvelous, active faith!!! God still does Great things–especially when someone steps up to the plate and says, “Here am I–send me!”

  11. God can create what man cannot see. Amazing story!

    My sister has undergone 2 kidney transplants (one from my brother and just over a decade later, from my nephew.) There were several times we didn’t know if or how she would pull through. But then, we were looking at the situation through “man’s eyes.”

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