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: 7

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

Photos

Loading…
  • Add Photos
  • View All

Latest Activity

Nancy Paske commented on TransplantCafe.com's group Team Prograf
"I forgot to say that I take 2 mg. in morning & 3 mg. in evening."
1 hour ago
Nancy Paske commented on TransplantCafe.com's group Team Prograf
"I also have been on generic Prograf since about a year out when my insurance co. Refused to pay for it. I haven't noticed any difference I am now 5 years post transplant & doing well."
1 hour ago
Nancy Paske commented on Sara Castro's group Heart Transplants
"In February I celebrated The 5th year since receiving the gift of a heart from a young man, Kevin Comeaux. I have been blessed to meet his parents & we keep in touch regularly. God has been so good to me."
2 hours ago
Nancy Paske posted a blog post

So Grateful

I celebrated my 5 th year since receiving the gift of a heart from an 18 yr old young man named Kevin Comeaux. I have met his parents & am in touch with them frequently. What a great blessing from God!
2 hours ago
William R, Armstrong commented on TransplantCafe.com's group Team Prograf
"I have taken both prograf and the generic and i haven't noticed any change. i'm still only taking .5 mg ever 9 days.  i have so much extra i don't know what to do with it. any sugestions? also myfortic ?"
2 hours ago
Janet Hart left a comment for Karen Weddick
"Hi Karen. Thank you for the message.  As you suggested, I changed my photo.  I also posted a message to the blog as I am trying to help my niece find housing for her transplant in Los Angeles. I'm hoping this site might help connect…"
3 hours ago
Janet Hart posted a blog post

Niece in Need of Housing in Los Angeles

My niece has been approved for a kidney transplant at Cedar's Sinai in LA but hasn't found an affordable place to stay for the three months following the transplant. Does anyone know of a place or have a suggestion on how to find a place. Her social worker did give her a list of hotels/motels but they are out of her price range. She is doing some fund raising to help cover expenses. Any ideas would be appreciated.  Thank you.See More
3 hours ago
Janet Hart updated their profile
3 hours ago
Janet Hart and Karen Weddick are now friends
3 hours ago
David Goodman commented on TransplantCafe.com's group Team Prograf
"My doctors insisted that I take prograf, not the generic version. The insurance company gave in."
3 hours ago
Karen Weddick left a comment for Janet Hart
"Hi Janet: I’d like to welcome you to the Transplant Café. You are now a member of a warm, friendly, supportive, caring, understanding, sensitive and informative site. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask and…"
4 hours ago
angelnote commented on TransplantCafe.com's group Team Prograf
"My insurance company forced me to switch to generic Prograf two months ago.  I have not felt the same since, in fact, my TX clinic was afraid I was in rejection.  Thankfully that was not the case, but now in the process of appealing to ins…"
6 hours ago
angelnote left a comment for Holly Werlein (Holdol)
"Hi Holly, It's been awhile since I've been on this site but am glad to be back.  I've been trying to add a photo but keep getting an error message.  It says to try another photo. I've attempted at least 6 photos…"
6 hours ago
Karen Weddick left a comment for angelnote
6 hours ago
Karen Weddick left a comment for angelnote
" Musical Scraps for Orkut"
6 hours ago
angelnote is now friends with Holly Werlein (Holdol) and ELIDA
6 hours ago

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…

© 2015   Created by TransplantCafe.com.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service