What a day this has been! What a perfect, incredible, life-changing day is more accurate! As many of you know by now, David received notification that he was possibly receiving the gift of life in the form of a new heart last night and it has been non-stop since then. Let me back up a bit. David and I had a rule, a rule of no text…no call. Since we have been waiting for a donor to gift us for over a month, we had a rule that he was not to call me unless he texted first and said he was going to call (or face-time). That way I was prepared for the call and knew it wasn’t “the call”. Feeling a little under the weather, we decided that I would stay home last night, rest, and get healthy. I came home from work at 6:00, took Dooney out, changed into my PJ’s and sat down to eat dinner. At about 7:30, my phone rang with the familiar sound of a face-time ring and I noticed it was David. I answered to him crying and saying “they are entertaining an offer…I think this is happening.” Frankly, I could barely catch my breath and I made the poor man repeat it again, through his tears, before I really understood what he was saying. We have been preparing for months, but it seemed so sudden in that moment.
I grabbed my things (already packed), got Dooney taken care of (thanks Heidi), and left for the hospital. On my way there, I mobilized the troops and both our girls and some dear friends were in route. Family members were busy changing plans, calling, and sending prayers to God that this was “THE HEART” for David. Later that evening, the transplant coordinator stopped in to share the plan with us. She shared that David’s donor was between 20 and 30 years old and the heart was perfect. She even said, “I just hope you can keep up with him after he heals.” Although nothing would be definite until the morning, it looked really good and preparation had been started. It was surreal, to say the least.
Instead of giving you all the details, let me share that after a very long night, and a shorter than expected surgery (about 5 hrs), the doctors transplanted the best Father’s Day gift of all into his chest, a healthy new heart. The selflessness of the donor, and his family, allowed my husband to have an opportunity that some never get – the gift of life. It is humbling, overwhelming, and frightening all in one. We were able to peak in his room a little bit ago, and if I am being honest, it took my breath away. My strong, faithful, positive husband looked helpless and dependent on the monitors, medicines and many tubes and wires. He breath was forced through a tube and his lips were blue. My hands are shaking thinking about it. But, here is what I do know. In the midst of my fear (I am not as faithful at times as David), I try and remind myself of God’s hand throughout this process. When I am too weak to remind myself, He uses others or subtle reminders to help. Even though I was angry at Him, for many reasons throughout this journey, he kept reminding me of His presence and love.
Did you know that the doctor was talking about sending David home on Thursday to avoid infection and take a break? That may have been his plan, but it wasn’t God’s plan. Did you know that there were many hearts offered to the surgical team, but they kept turning them down? We couldn’t understand, but God did. Did you know that every Sunday morning when I woke up I cried, because I was convinced (thanks to Google) that the heart would come over the weekend late at night? Guess what, it wasn’t God’s plan! IT IS SO HARD TO TRUST HIM SOMETIMES! I know that is not very pastor’s wifey (not a word – but appropriate), but it is true! I was impatient, I was doubtful, and I was mad…and He kept on loving me in spite of me. Did you know that I just stared at my faithful and brave husband lying on a hospital bed with a heart that was inside of another man this morning beating in his chest? Did you know that donor made a conscious decision, in his health, to save my husband’s life and didn’t even know the amazing man he was saving? Did you know that God is not only healing David’s heart, but the hearts of family members who haven’t been speaking in this process? Friends and family from the past making connections and sharing memories have also been a part of this journey. I don’t understand any of it, but in my tired clouded brain all I can make sense of He loves us, all of us. It doesn’t matter how angry we get at Him, how much we ignore Him, blame Him, or even yell at Him, He loves us in spite of us and will never leave us (even when we might deserve it). Thank God for that! Thank God for my David’s new heart! Thank God for my family and friends in this process!
We ask for your continued prayers, as the doctors have said the next few days will be like a roller coaster. Please continue to lift up David and his healing, the doctors and nurses, our family and the family of the hero that saved David’s life. Thank God for this miracle!