- Associated Press - Sunday, July 19, 2015

SELMA, Ala. (AP) - Thirteen years ago, the thought of having a family was torn from the mind of Selma native Shirlenta Thicklin.

The kidney and pancreas recipient didn’t think she’d make it through her surgery. When doctors told Thicklin her long odds, she kneeled and began to pray.

“They told me I probably wouldn’t have made it, and it would have been a lot of complications a year or two after the transplants,” she said. “I just started praying ‘Lord what you have for me is for me.”

She received both a kidney and a pancreas on July 11, 2002.

A long battle with diabetes, since age 4, deteriorated Thicklin’s health and organs, as she got older.

Her health brought on a rush of emotions and fear, and she described her plummeting health with one word: bad.

“I stayed sad a lot,” she said tearfully. “Before the transplant I saw celebrities and other people die from transplants. It was a lot of things going through my mind, but then I just said, ‘I have to learn how to pray because I know God is a healer.’”

Her prayers were answered. Not only did she make it through the risky first two years after a transplant, she went on to live a much better life. A life with a husband and a son.

She got married in 2004, and she and her husband Derick had a son named Xavier in 2009.

“He’s wonderful,” Thicklin said of her son. “He’s a very smart and articulate child.”

Throughout her journey, Thicklin said her mother Shirley Tarver reminded her of God’s grace and mercy.

Tarver had nothing but great things to say about her daughter and what she has overcome.

“She’s a very nice young lady,” Tarver said. “She’s into the Bible and is a sweet girl. Thank God. He brought her from a long way. He really has.”

Through it all, Thicklin said she would continue to hold on to her faith. She said it’s the very thing that put her life back into perspective.

Thicklin said she’s developed a newfound strength, as she said she’s not afraid of anything because she knows all she has to do is kneel and talk to God.

“There is no limit to what God can do,” Thicklin said. “Step out on faith. God promised me, and I believed it was going to be all right.”

___

Information from: Times Journal, https://www.selmatimesjournal.com/

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