The Gift of Life: Part Four

Saturday January 12, 2013

My aunt and I headed to St Louis for a visit. It was just her and I and Sylas. I was down to my last couple weeks of maternity leave and wanted to visit them one last time before I headed back to the hectic work and school schedule and the added newborn on top of it. I wasn’t sure how often I’d be able to visit after I returned to school, especially with Graduation coming up that spring and having to catch up on a month’s worth of internship. We were planning to head back on Sunday afternoon, so it was going to be a quick trip.

Sunday morning, we woke up to an ice storm. The roads were super slick and too dangerous to head out just yet. We decided to hang out and watch the weather and see if the road conditions improved during the day. Eventually we decided that we should just stay another night and leave Monday morning instead. Not even an hour after deciding to stay, the house phone rang.

The house phone at the rental home rarely ever rang. The hospital were the only ones to have the house number. Everyone else just contacted them by cell. The only time it ever rang was when telemarketers called or dad’s transplant coordinator nurse needed to let them know of any changes in his care plan. Mom and I exchanged a that’s strange glance as she picked up the phone. She could barely speak she was so in shock as his nurse coordinator told her the good news that his new lungs would be on their way.

She said that he needed to be at the hospital within an hour and what all he needed to do and bring. She instructed him not to eat or drink and where in the hospital we would need to go. The house was bustling with excitement and everyone was a ball of nerves, especially my mom. She could barely think straight enough to get her shoes on, let alone help him pack up his supplies.I called my brothers and told them that they needed to head our way and my aunt started calling family to let them know.

We got to the hospital, I want to say between 10 and 11am. Getting registered was a bit of a hassle, but soon enough we were admitted to the transplant floor. He had blood drawn and they did all sorts of testing and monitoring as soon as he got there. We were told that his lungs should arrive around 4 o’clock, so we had a bit of a wait. My brothers showed up and we all met in the waiting area of that floor, talking and such. My brothers brought a deck of cards to occupy the time. Eventually 3, 4 and 5 o’clock passed and soon it was dark outside. The harvest team passed us heading to the elevator. Dad asked them if they were headed out for him, but they couldn’t say. The nurses ended up allowing us to use a private conference room to wait in so that we weren’t in the middle of the hallway waiting area all night. There were a couple couches and a table and chairs in there along with a coffee machine. We stayed up, pretty much all night. I did doze a little bit there around 2-3am with Sylas on one of the couches.

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