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

Cathy Mcferrin posted photos
10 hours ago
Cathy Mcferrin and Karen Weddick are now friends
13 hours ago
David Goodman commented on Lili Feldman's group The Funny Bone
"Jake was dying. His wife sat at the bedside.              He looked up and said weakly:              'I have something I must confess.'         …"
16 hours ago
David Goodman commented on Lili Feldman's group The Funny Bone
"A mortician was working late one night.              He examined the body of Mr. Schwartz,              about to be cremated,              and…"
16 hours ago
David Goodman commented on Lili Feldman's group The Funny Bone
"A married man was having an affair              with his secretary.              One day they went to her place              and made love all…"
16 hours ago
David Goodman commented on Lili Feldman's group The Funny Bone
"Nominated as the world's best short joke A 3-year-old boy examined his testicles while taking a bath. 'Mom', he  asked, 'Are these my brains?'  'Not yet,' she replied.  "
16 hours ago
Cathy Mcferrin posted a blog post

Thanks for the sweet welcome to this site! Im in the insurance phase , testing which my insurance paid for about $30,00 worth of testing. Can I ask how long did you have to wait once you were on the …

Thanks for the sweet welcome to this site!Im in the insurance phase , testing which my insurance paid for about $30,00 worth of testing.Can I ask how long did you have to wait once you were on the list?I have hepatic encephalopathy and have been to hospital twice in less than 6 months. The first visit I was pretty much out of my head. Finally adjusting the lactulose and x drug . Everyone I came in contact with was just rubbing me the wrong way.Second visit finally got the lactulose working right. Thanks to Dr. Panel one of the transplant doctors in Baptist Hospital Oklahoma City.See More
23 hours ago
Prem Dayal replied to Prem Dayal's discussion Having a single Peg of Whiskey after liver transplant, will it kill me?
"Hi thanks for the advise, Currently I am taking Prograf 1mg twice a day, also I had my medical test done last week and everything was normal except indirect bilirubin, which was 1.57 (should be max 0.80). Also the cause of my liver failure was…"
yesterday
A. Front replied to Prem Dayal's discussion Having a single Peg of Whiskey after liver transplant, will it kill me?
"A little bit of alcohol now and then will not kill you however, I don't know what medications you take. You should check and see if any say not to take with alcohol. If you have hep C or any other kind of hepatitis,stay away from…"
yesterday
Lili Feldman commented on Lili Feldman's group The Funny Bone
"This is def a David joke. Cute David."
yesterday
Cathy Mcferrin shared a profile on Facebook
Tuesday
Cathy Mcferrin updated their profile
Tuesday
Cathy Mcferrin joined Gabrielle's group
Thumbnail

Liver Transplants

This is a group for all people who have had liver transplants. Feel free to say how long you have been a recipient and what medication you are on. Some doctors hope to have their patients off all medications, any thoughts?
Tuesday
Cathy Mcferrin posted photos
Tuesday
Karen Weddick left a comment for Cathy Mcferrin
"Hi Cathy: 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…"
Monday
David Goodman commented on Lili Feldman's group The Funny Bone
" A Christmas Story   When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure. Then Mrs. Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to…"
Monday

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