Sunday, May 15, 2011

the chance.....

Ok so most of you know I'm a Jersey girl. My childhood was spent living in your average central Jersey neighborhood.  I was fortunate enough to grow up in a world where kids played in the street, my parents let me walk to my friends house, and it was a neighborhood where everyone knew each other.

One of my childhood playmates lived right next door to us. I have great memories of time with him. We'd play curveball, watch Yankee games, play kickball, stickball (yes I was a tomboy), and climbing trees and normal kid kinda stuff. His father had a heart problem. I can't remember exactly his heart problem...I was a kid....I wasn't privy to those details. BUT he would come over every once & awhile and sit down with our family at dinner...chat over the hedges with my brother or my father... he had a nickname for me "no-knees" LOL....and then I recall him walking around with an oxygen tank. His condition got worse. At this point,  he needed a new heart. That's right folks, a heart transplant. I honestly can't recall how long he waited for his new heart but I remember when he came home...you had to wear a mask to visit him during the first few months. It was fantastic to see him doing so well and to see my friend so happy to still have his dad around.

Time went on. We moved, everyone grew up, still kept in touch here & there..... I think I had only been living in California for about a year when my brother told me that our neighbor had passed. After transplant he lived on for about 15 + years. I'm 37 years old now. He passed when I was in my late 20's. He had received his heart transplant in the 80's.  Freaking amazing, right? Imagine what they can do today? Imagine how much time a heart transplant can buy someone? 20 + years ?

I've witnessed both sides of this donating organs, donating life. Remember my "giving blood" blog entry? I mentioned Bryson, a fellow LVAD'er. The day after I posted that blog entry he got the call for his new heart. He's doing wonderful. Rock on Bryson! I also know of someone, a fellow Mom of twins, who tragically just lost her husband. It's a life changing in the blink of an eye kind of story, that just thinking about it, well it brings me to tears. In the end she made the decision to donate her husband's organs. Her decision alone has most likely changed the lives of many... the courage & strength this woman has...well it amazes me. Her mere kindness of donating her husband's organs brings me to tears.

KTKQ forver...
I wanted to blog about this topic because I want everyone to know that at an early age I was exposed to the whole idea of donating your organs and donating life. It's surreal that the love of my life will be soon undergoing this exact same procedure. It scares the shit out of me, sure...but it also makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Lucky in the sense that an act of kindness from someone who simply marked off the "donate organs" box on their drivers license could very well give me the chance to spend 20 + years more with the love of my life. The chance for him to see his children graduate high school. The chance to be holding his hand when they call his name at the Oscars for "best score"...because let me tell you folks, he's that good. The chance to grow old with him.... the chance to keep my little family of four for just a bit longer...

Thank you if you're an organ donor.

If you're not an organ donor, what are you waiting for?

2 comments:

  1. Tracy,
    I came across your blog while looking for info for LVAD caregivers. My role will start in earnest when my husband is released from the hospital. You are a remarkable woman and I look forward to reading your entire blog. I raise my glass of grape juice to you, your love and your family.
    Maureen

    ReplyDelete
  2. maureen,
    welcome to the LVAD rollercoaster ride of life. one piece of advice that a dear friend told me.... there may be highs and there will for sure be lows... when the highs come around just take it in & hopefully it will carry you through the lows. if not, know there is an entire LVAD community out there waiting to embrace you (( hugs ))
    if you're on facebook, look up LVAD caregivers... pretty popular page for caregivers.
    if you have any questions or if i can be of any help, please ask...
    all the best to you & your husband,
    tracy

    ReplyDelete