Lisa Flowers knew her 10-year-old daughter Kaylyn’s fatigue wasn’t normal, but the urgent call from the local doctor still took her aback.
Physicians had been testing the girl to determine if a recent eye problem was due to an autoimmune disease, and they hadn’t given Lisa reason to think anything was seriously wrong.
Now they reported that Kaylyn’s kidneys had been failing, quietly but completely, and that she would likely require a transplant.
“It’s one of those moments in your life that you’ll always remember, one of those life-changing phone calls,” Lisa said.
“The doctor said, ‘She won’t die from this, and we’ll do everything that we can, but it’s really serious and we need her seen within the hour. Go pack, and I’ll call you back.’ ”
Yet thanks to her mother’s love, Kaylyn would return to a fairly normal adolescence within just five months. Testing revealed that Lisa was a match to donate a kidney to her daughter, a major undertaking but one that would spare the girl years of disruptive dialysis treatments.
Although Charles “Charlie” Fullerton’s heart aches when he remembers his late wife of 55 years, Pat, he feels proud knowing he is pursuing their shared vision—a commitment to finding solutions to chronic pain.
Pat, who captured Charlie’s heart after his return from World War II, began suffering chronic pain from arthritis soon after Charlie retired.
The constant throbbing and sharp jolts of agony that Pat suffered in her joints every time she moved instilled within the couple a common mission: find better pain-management solutions.
In Pat’s memory, Fullerton funded scholarships to support students at the UC Davis Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing interested in pain management. During The Campaign for UC Davis, he also created the Charles and Patricia Fullerton Endowed Chair in Pain Medicine to advance patient care, education and research on all aspects of pain management.
When asked why he gives to UC Davis in this way, Fullerton said, “This is what Pat and I wanted to do.”