Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Special Edition: My Lung Transplant Journey, October 1, 2014 - Moving on to a Brand New Me

So you want to know what it's like to receive and recover from a double lung transplant, do you?
I know a person who can fill you in.
Everyone meet Sue 2.0. ~ the new and improved version for 2014 and beyond! Her best feature yet, she can breathe!
In case you didn't hear the news, I received my miraculous gift of life last Wednesday, September 24. I'm celebrating one week post transplant today!

Here's how it went down last week:

My call came in my hospital room at about 11:30 am Tuesday, September 23, (my dad's birthday) where we were informed that they found a good match for me. We were excited and filled with anticipation, once again waiting for further information from the transplant team such as when I would go to ICU to be prepped for surgery, but most importantly, would the lungs be viable? Hours ticked by while my sister Deanne and I waited for our next step. We kept busy by packing my stuff and taking down cards and decorations Deanne had been putting up earlier in the morning. Meanwhile, back at home, Tim left work to catch a flight so he could be with me here before surgery. He didn't even have a bag packed! He made it here between 5 and 6 pm, and shortly after, they took me to ICU for prep. Keep in mind, we still did not know if the lungs would be good about 6 hours after the the initial call! As it turns out, the donor was donating multiple organs and tissue so the retrieval process was prolonged as each organ is removed by different teams be it lungs, heart, etc.

More hours ticked by as we waited overnight in the ICU. All preliminary prep work was completed because when it's time to go to the OR, they go! Finally, at about 8:30 AM, we learned the lungs were good! All our prayers, and the prayers of many, many people around the world had been answered! Tim and Deanne walked along as they quickly transported me, but only to the OR elevator - no family beyond that point. It was comforting to have them there by my side as it it's quite scary when those doors close, for me on one side and them on the other.

After arriving in the OR, I was greeted by a huge team of people in blue scrubs, each doing their job to get everything ready for the transplant. The last thing I remember from this point is the anesthesiologist asking me if I was ready to be sleepy. Out like a light for old Sue! At about 2:30 pm, the surgeon met with Tim and Deanne to let them know the positive news. Surgery was free from complications and the lungs were working well. Again, God answered all our prayers!

Sedated and intubated with a breathing tube, I returned to the ICU for a really long nap until mid Thursday morning (9/25) They woke me up and removed the breathing tube without problems. I had a very sore throat and could not talk, but alive and awake, and ready to slowly move on to the next step in my journey - recovery and healing!

  I'm on my way to a brand new Sue!

*More to come soon! Stay tuned . . .

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