Tuesday, November 11, 2008

a new heart...

about five years ago my phone rang in the wee hours of the morning... that is never a good thing. and, it wasn't. my sister-in-law's niece, kelly, was calling to let us know that that linda (sil) had had a massive heart attack and was in intensive care. it was very iffy as to whether or not she would survive.

i packed our bags, and katherine and i travelled to go be there for linda.

linda had gone to a charlie daniels' benefit concert for the families of police officers who'd been killed in a high-speed chase. she had started feeling sick, had gone to the restroom to splash cool water onto her face, and was sitting on a table in the hallway.
when she had the heart attack, she went face first onto the concrete floor. thank goodness she was at a public event... as there were paramedics and police on hand. the paramedics had to shock her heart 3 times before they could get it beating again.
she was rushed to st. thomas hospital in nashville.
her heart situation was negatively compounded by the head injury she'd sustained when she fell from the table; hence, the doctors were unable to give her blood thinners.
linda's prognosis was grave...

thankfully, linda did pull through. she surprised all her doctors!!!
her cardiologist told her that the type of attack she'd had was called "sudden death" in the medical world. further, had there not been medics right there when she suffered the attack, she would have surely died.

though she was a trooper and pulled through the heart attack, things have not been easy for linda. because her heart was greatly compromised, as time passed, its inefficiency began to affect the rest of her health (breathing, energy, etc...) to the point that in august her cardiologist had to put her on a donor list for a heart transplant.

well, yesterday morning at 8:30 am her phone rang. it was st. thomas hospital. she was told to get to the hospital asap as her new heart was en route!!!

she promptly arrived and was prepped for surgery. the heart arrived mid-day. after a four hour surgery, linda had a new, healthy heart pumping in her chest. she was doing well last night.


however, stories like this are always so bittersweet... the heart linda received had been donated by the family of a 14 year old girl. so, as we are jubilating over linda's blessing, a family somewhere is mourning the loss of their beautiful daughter... for them, i ask for prayers. i just hope they find peace and comfort in the knowledge that their little girl didn't die in vain.

those of us who love our linda are so grateful!!!
there are just no words...

love and God's blessings,
dani xx


Allikaye's Mama said...

God is so in control of every life and death...and heart! So glad our Linda is doing great!!

Anonymous said...

What a bittersweet day for your family. I'm so happy for modern day medicine. I mean really, what a miracle to have a new heart!
And such a young one at that!

Blessings, good wishes, and prayers to all involved.

Amanda said...

What an amazing story ~ i'm so glad that Linda is doing well with her new heart. I am on the Donor Register, and hopefully reading this other people might do the same thing.
The little girls parents are very brave people. I hope they find peace in the knowledge that their little girl has saved so many lives.
Thanks for sharing this amazing story.
Amanda x

Little Sweethearts said...

Oh dani, this post is making me all teary. How wonderful for Linda, and yet how sad for the other family. I will be keeping both families in my thoughts.

Love and hugs,

Jan said...

The bittersweet for sure. As one recieves life, another is life is taken. What a blessing though. I am so happy for Linda and the other family will be so very blessed too. Her spirit of giving lives on...

Christy said...

I am so happy for Linda, but so sad for the family of the 14 year old. Definitely bittersweet.

SuzanSayz said...

I can easily see how it could be a moral dilemma in a situation like this. Of course you want to celebrate but then there is the sorrow for the other family. It sounds like you and your family are finding the right balance between the two. I'm so happy for your Linda and I pray that the young girls' family will find peace.

Tabitha said...

I have tears in my eyes reading this Dani ~ tears of happiness that Linda has been given another chance at a healthy life and tears of sadness ~ thinking of the life lost to give her that future!!!
As you said ~ I hope the girls parents know how their daughter has given a future to someone else!
Hope all is well ~ sending love and hugs XXXXXXXXX

Shannon said...

Oh Dani, you are so right, such a bittersweet moment. I got chills just reading this and at the end I had tears in my eyes. Thank God she found a donor and Bless all of those involved.
I will pray for both families.

Kellan said...

Donorship is such a gift - I'm am so happy for your Linda!!! I will pray - Kellan

Kellan said...
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Kellan said...
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Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

Donorship is truly bittersweet.
I am praying for a good surgery!

juz said...

A truly beautiful post Dani. Prayers for your SIL's speedy and healthy recovery and Gods Blessings to the family of the Child who died.

Much Love

Lucy said...

Dani, you are absolutly correct. It is such a blessing to have your Linda doing so well and having another chance for a healthy future while being so greatfull for the courage of the family who lost so much themselves. It is a very happy yet sad situation. I pray for your Linda to continue to do well and for the loss that the other family is enduring.
P.S. A very special congratulations to your Katherine for her acceptance in NYLF in Medicine. You have every right to be bursting with pride.
I have bee computerless for a while, hence the silence.
Love and hugs

linda said...

I'm so happy for your SIL Linda yet my heart just breaks for the family of her heart donor. I fast and pray on Wednesdays so today I will add Linda to my prayers as well as this little girl's family. I pray that God would give them some comfort at this difficult time.

Jen said...

What a beautiful story- both families are in my prayers.

The Donald said...

That is a great story, thanks for sharing. While it is sad that someone had to die in order for your friend to get a heart, it is such a wonderful thing that the family of that 14 year old girl were willing to donate her organs to help out others. For that, their family will receieve many blessings. And being able to know that because of their selflessness they were able to save others' lives.

Once again, thanks for sharing.

Cheri and Jesse said...

I hope and pray that you SIL is recovering well. Your family and the family of the 14 year old have been in my thoughts and prayers!