Harold is now at the mercy of William the Conqueror. Or to put it another way, Chris Strouth is recovering nicely from a kidney transplant this week, thanks to the generosity of Scott Pakudaitis and the bullhorn that is Twitter.
"I've got a big cut on my right side, shaped like a hockey stick. I can't really see it, but I think its about 9 inches long," Strouth said from his hospital bed at the University of Minnesota. Tottering around the hallways with an oxygen bottle to gain some strength, he jokes, "I'm in a hospital gown. I have a walker. I have a catheter bag. And I'm dressed in my Adam and the Ants T-shirt. It's pretty funny."
Those who have followed the saga know that Harold is the name Strouth gave the kidney disease that for three years ruled his life and damned near killed him. He put out a call via Twitter for an organ donor in February and Scott Pakudaitis offered to help. Once a battery of tests cleared him as a suitable donor, Pakudaitis, with a clever sense of medieval history, bestowed the name William the Conqueror on his left kidney.
Both men are steeped in the local music and arts scene. Their paths first crossed a long time ago, when Strouth was with the old Twin/Tone record label and Pakudaitis was managing All The Pretty Horses. They hadn't been in touch for years until Twitter brought them together -- and they didn't actually meet eye-to-eye until Pakudaitis sat down for Thanksgiving dinner at Strouth's house.
On Dec. 1, they went into the OR side by side, and William was sent forth to vanquish the evil Harold. Doctors suggest it was a one-sided battle.
Fittingly, they kept up a steady stream of tweets before and after the operation.
Pakudaitis: "At the hospital. Goodbye kidney hellooo pantslessness!"
Strouth: "In the waiting room at the hospital, I feel like I am in 7th grade just before swimming class."
Pakudaitis: "Hey @chrisstrouth how's my kidney doing? I hope your recovery is going as well as mine."
Strouth: "Made the switch from morphine to vicodin, had dreams that I am pretty sure were guest-diected by wes craven."
Pakudaitis sounded upbeat on Thursday. "I'm doing fine with only one kidney," he said. "But am a bit achy, which is expected. Hopefully I get sprung on Friday."
Strouth, who has also chronicled his journey at length on his Facebook page, said he may leave the hospital on Saturday.
"You'll have to excuse me now," he said before hanging up the phone. "I'm eating an orange for the first time in a year."