remembering the day I found out I was really ill

I was reading the blogs of fellow transplanted friends. One of my friend had a lung transplant and the other had both lungs transplanted. Reading them brings back many memories..

I remember throwing up blood and the doctor not letting me drive to the hospital. My heart was racing and my blood pressure was very low. We were talking about how I had driven to his office and how he would not let me leave on my own. I called a friend to come and take me to the hospital. The doctor was about to call an ambulance to come get me when my friend walked in to take me. I told him he saved my life and for the first time he told me it was luck. He thought I was going to die.

I remembered talking to my donor family on TV. Back then it was news when one met the donor family. They wrote the hospital where the organs were harvested and they sent the letter to the hospital that did the transplant. Then I wrote to them, sending the letter to my hospital and they send it to the other hospital who then sent it to the family. We were not allow to give out our name or address. They had wanted to meet and I said okay. So the hospital got together, picked a date, called the TV stations and I drove the 72 miles to the hospital in Austin to meet them. First we had to be together in front of the cameras. I tried to lead the discussion to talk about the donor family. I remember tell them ( heck, I got the video of it) that they were the heros. I could not help getting sick, I had no choice. They had a choice and choose to give life.

After the camera left and we were allowed to just talk among ourself the mom told me how hard it was when they asked her about being a donor. The hardest part was being asked, organ by organ and having to sign for each one. Would you donate the kidneys, yes, sign here, will you donate the heart? Yes, sign here. Would you donate the liver? yes, sign here. When it came to the eyes she said no, told me she just could not give the eyes that she had looked into.

I told her that of all the people I knew on the transplant list, not one of us wanted anyone to die so we could get an organ. I never prayed that I would receive one because I knew someone would have died. I tried not to be afraid and I don't believe I was. On the day I got the call, I had gone to where I use to work to say good bye to a few special friends. I knew my time was running out, I had all the signs that I had been told about. While there, my pager went off and I called in. I remember the words I heard, "get your yellow fanny up here, we believe we have a donor." I told the girl I was talking with at the time to spread the word and I started home. I could not go without my wife. That was almost 13 years ago. The date was Feb 14, 1997. My donor died Valentine Days, Feb.14, 1997. He left a wife and 2 kids, one boy, age 18, one girl age 21. His wife was in her 40s. They had been high schools sweethearts.

Today, Christmas season, I think of the gifts. The Son from our Father in Heaven and my liver, from a person I never knew. I recall the TV reporter that asked the wife, "how do you feel sitting next to the man who has your husband's liver?". She answered, "it is not my husbands liver, it is Lee's, to live with as he wants to." A great answer.

To my transplant friends, give thanks to people who shard there love ones with us. Every now and then, think about them and say a prayer for them. Without them, where would we be?

Views: 5

Comment

You need to be a member of TransplantCafe.com - The Gift of eLife! to add comments!

Join TransplantCafe.com - The Gift of eLife!

Comment by Lili Feldman on February 2, 2010 at 1:57pm
This is astonishing, beautiful, and heartfelt. I'm not ashamed to say you brought me to tears. God bless you. Lili

Members

Photos

Loading…
  • Add Photos
  • View All

Latest Activity

Clare mcgee replied to Andrea Gaskin's discussion Anyone out there had a Liver Transplant and now need a Kidney due to prograft?
"Hi Andrea, You have certainly had a rough time on top of the usual transplant roller coaster. Unfortunately the drugs we rely on bring its own problems. I am very pleased you have a supportive family to keep you strong. You are young & strong in…"
2 hours ago
Beverly L. Senzee was featured
yesterday
Profile IconBeverly L. Senzee and Keeleigh John joined TransplantCafe.com - The Gift of eLife!
yesterday
Andrea Gaskin replied to Andrea Gaskin's discussion Anyone out there had a Liver Transplant and now need a Kidney due to prograft?
"Hi Clare, I started off taking problably around 9mg 2x a day of prograft and 1000mg of Cellcept 2x a day. It was eventually tapered down to 4mg then in Feb down to 2mg and cellcept to 500mg 2x a day. My dose has fluctuated quite a bit in the last 2…"
Monday
Caring 4 Carrie posted a blog post

Kidney Fact: Diabetics Can Still Enjoy Easter Too! :)

 Easter Can Still Be Sweet For Those With Diabetes. The ultimate goal is to watch your glucose sugar level if you're planning on having chocolates.Here's options for Diabetics on Easter:  1) Sugar free- family fun activities/ exercise 2) Chocolates- major portion control 3) Non food gifts- gift of flowers or plant 4) Sweet Alternatives- Simnel cake or hot cross buSee More
Monday
Caring 4 Carrie posted a status
"This Afeera. She's needing a kidney. Visit her FB page:…"
Monday
Clare mcgee replied to Andrea Gaskin's discussion Anyone out there had a Liver Transplant and now need a Kidney due to prograft?
"Hi Andrea, Unfortunately This is more common than you may think . Not my personal experience granted but have heard & read of this happening. Out of curiosity what were your Prograf levels over the 2 yr period? & doses? As this plays a…"
Sunday
Brian Primack replied to Phil Keyes's discussion Post transplant blues
"Ipad my heart transplant 8 months ago and I also am on 2x 1500mg Cellcept, 12.5 of prednisone and prograf. I don't feel very good either. I keep wondering when I am going to feel better?"
Saturday
Brian Primack liked Donnia's group Prednisone Sucks :)
Saturday
Brian Primack is now a member of TransplantCafe.com - The Gift of eLife!
Saturday
Andrea Gaskin left a comment for Breanna Williams
"Welcome to the Transplant Cafe Family!!!"
Saturday
Andrea Gaskin posted a discussion

Anyone out there had a Liver Transplant and now need a Kidney due to prograft?

I had my liver transplant March 2012 and now last month almost 2 yrs after my liver transplant, I'm in kidnwy failure and on dialysis 3x a week. I am currently being evauated for a kidney transplant at MUSC in Charleston, SC. I hate dialysis! I need my life back!See More
Saturday
Vrinda Nair updated their profile
Apr 18
Sandy Atkinson is now a member of TransplantCafe.com - The Gift of eLife!
Apr 17
Bobbiejo Winfrey commented on Gary Toulouse's blog post Today April 16th
"Congratulations on reaching your fourth year anniversary! I am so glad that you have been blessed with this wonderful gift. May you only have many, many more reasons to celebrate in the future! "
Apr 16
Joy Youster is now a member of TransplantCafe.com - The Gift of eLife!
Apr 16

quick links!

 follow transplant cafe:

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to TransplantCafe

Meet Members by Transplant Type

Heart Kidney
Liver Single Lung
Double Lung Pancreas
Intestinal Bone Marrow
Tissue Kidney / Pancreas
Other Transplant

Badge

Loading…

© 2014   Created by TransplantCafe.com.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service