Emily Erickson, whose family attends DeerGrove Covenant Church, was home eating breakfast on Wednesday morning while recovering from her kidney transplant when the front doorbell rang. She figured someone was delivering a package, so she was stunned to see three of her best friends standing there in their band uniforms. They asked Emily, a flute player with the Northbrook Junior High band, if she wanted to come out and play.
“I was speechless,” Emily said. “I didn’t understand what was happening.” She also wondered why they weren’t in school.
Then she looked past the trio to see that the band of some 40 students had marched from their school several blocks away and set up in the street outside her house. Band was one of Emily’s favorite activities, and she was disappointed that she had not been able to perform with her friends at their final concert a week earlier.
So band director Greg Scapillato conspired with her parents, David and Judy, to have the group play several numbers outside her house and ask her to perform with them. He also brought Emily’s uniform jacket.
“I was so excited,” Emily said, adding that she still knew the music well six weeks after her transplant.
Her father David, who is a vice president and legal counsel with Covenant Retirement Communities, noted that Emily had been confirmed and baptized at their church the day before her surgery. It was a powerful witness of the gospel for him, he said, to watch his daughter experience new life through confirmation and baptism, and then to see her be given new life through the surgery the following day on April 25.
The transplant nearly didn’t happen, however. Judy was scheduled to be the donor, but during her final exam prior to the surgery, doctors discovered an abdominal mass that had to be removed and which they strongly suspected was cancerous. It turned out to be benign, however.
Emily was able to return to school on Thursday and is thrilled that she also will be able to attend graduation ceremonies, something that at one time it looked as if she would miss.
A report by a local TV news station is online.