Hi everyone. What a day. I am in still in shock and having a hard time even believing the words that I am writing tonight. If you missed the post on my mom’s Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, you can read it here.
I woke up this morning to two text messages from my dad.
“We got another call it is now 3:30 am and I am sitting in the waiting area. They no longer allow anyone to wait with the patient.”
“It is 3:40 your mom just called they are going to do the transplant… everything is a go…”
After 59 days on the waiting list and three dry runs where she was called for surgery but the donor lungs weren’t viable, my sweet mother received a double lung transplant today at Duke University Hospital. Dr. John Haney did the surgery.
The surgical team at Duke was phenomenal and checked in with my dad every couple of hours. They let us know when the surgery had officially started, when the first lung was in, when the second lung was in and when she was out of surgery and in recovery. Dr. Haney called my dad after the surgery and apologized for the long wait and dry runs but assured him the lungs were worth the wait. The lungs were in great condition and the donor was less than half my mom’s age. The surgery went as well as it could have with no major complications.
I packed up and headed to Durham this afternoon. I arrived around 7p and went straight to the hospital to meet my dad. He took me to visit my mom in the ICU. It was shocking to see her on a ventilator and hooked up to so many tubes and drains but more than anything I felt relief that she will finally feel better and be able breath again. I didn’t feel like I was going to cry or freak out, I just felt this deep sense of peace and gratitude.
My mom has fought so hard and she was so courageous to go through the process of getting to where we are today. Nothing about it was easy.
My mom is heavily sedated in the ICU right now. While things can change at any moment, so far she is doing everything they want her to be doing from a recovery standpoint. Her care team told us the best thing my dad and I could do tonight was to get some rest because she will need our support a lot in the next few days. They are planning to place an epidural for pain, bring her out of sedation and extubate her sometime early in the morning. Physical therapy will start tomorrow and the plan is to get her up on her feet.
Tonight my heart is with the donor family as they grieve their loss. It’s also with my mom who is lying in a hospital bed a mile away with a second shot at life thanks to the gift of organ donation.
We would appreciate your continued prayers. My mom’s name is Sally if you want to get really specific with the messages going up. <3
I will update you guys again in the next day or two. We have a long road ahead of us and many things about life will never be the same but what an amazing blessing this is. Thank you for your compassion, love and support. It has deeply touched me during a very difficult time.