What a day.
Only God knew what this day was to hold. We'd have never guessed.
For us, it began at 4:46am, when Marc heard a series of texts ringing on my phone. Which of our college students is texting their life story to Amy at THIS hour?? he initially thought.
But then he picked up my phone and saw:
My dad had received THE call from the hospital.
There was a donor. There would be a lung today.
My parents were en route to the hospital in Dallas. I was still sleeping peacefully, blissfully unaware of all that was transpiring.
I felt Marc's warm arms wrap around me as he said, "Sweetheart, your dad got the call and they're headed to Baylor."
"What?!?" I immediately jumped up, confused as anyone who is awoken in the night like that. Was Marc sharing a dream he was having with me? Is this true??
He repeated it again, to which my body immediately went into shock.
This was the moment. This would be the day?
Half in a stupor, I dialed my parents, who were nearing the hospital around that time. I wanted to hear their voices. I wanted to know this was really happening.
We all knew things were on standby, but it was honestly off our radar. Dad had been #7 on the list, and it was looking like it would be another six months.
But it was going to be today.
As my dad was being admitted to the hospital, my mind couldn't help but rush to the donor. Who had to lose their life in order that my dad might gain his? Was their death an accident? An illness? Was it someone young or old? What grief must the family be facing. And yet, even in death, the hope of new life in MY family was just a matter of hours away.
Though he was immediately scared and shocked by the middle-of-the-night call, my dad sounded at peace with everything. This, afterall, was his ticket to life. It was what we had all been waiting for.
Just not sure I was all that "ready."
Over the next several hours, we waited and waited to hear if the donor lung would be approved.
Tests were being run.
Waiting and more waiting.
Would this be a "go"? Or would it be what they call a "dry run"?
Praying. Crying. More praying. Pacing. Texting Mom, "Any news yet?"
"Still waiting" came back.
I was able to choke out goodbye and "I love you" to my dad for the last time around noon. He said that if he called me next, they'd be heading back home. If it was my mom, it meant he was going in.
Just awhile later, my phone rang. And my heart stopped.
It was my mom.
The lung was on its way from an undisclosed location by a LEER JET! (what in the WORLD?!! This was becoming dramatic!) It had been removed from the donor, and it was currently being transported by plane, accompanied by the surgeon who had just harvested it. When the plane would land, my dad would go under.
This is really going to happen today. This is really going to happen.
It felt like I was walking around my house in a trance. I was functioning, but not well. I think I was more of a basket-case than my mom... probably since I was so far away from what was happening.
Sometime in the afternoon they took him in.
At one point, we got word that as expected, he was hooked up to the heart and lung bypass machine. A machine was now pumping blood through his veins. A machine was oxygenating that same blood.
About 4-5 hours after he went in, we received word that the lung was in, and it was WORKING. Praise God, praise God! Tests were run, everything carefully checked before the process of stitching him back up began. The surgeon spoke with my mother and reported everything went smoothly. He said my dad had received a really good lung.
Exhale. What a day.
So, right now as I type, thousands of miles away, my dad is sleeping sedated in a hospital bed, hooked up to God-knows-how-many tubes and IV's. (My mom got to see him briefly afterwards and said he looked awful. I'm sure she's right.)
I believe he'll be fine and recover to have a life where he doesn't struggle for each breath, but honestly, at this moment, I'm scared.
Scared of the what if's.
Scared to rest tonight, for fear of missing something.
Scared for what may lie ahead.
I know all of this is also amazing and exciting, too. We'll get there. Right now, I'm scared. My stomach feels like I want to puke.
The next three days are critical. He'll stay in the ICU, ready to be wheeled back into surgery at a moment's notice if any rejection symptoms begin occurring. They'll keep him sedated through the night, and let him awaken a bit sometime in the morning.
Complications are common. I know He is in the Lord's hands. He is surrounded by a whole HOST of doctors who do this all the time.
I'm itching to get out there and be with them. Just waiting on the word and I'll go.
Thank you, dear friends, for holding us up in your prayers at this time.